“Gordon was a good friend with a passion for life,” said Sid Wahi, Director at Africa Business News. “We’ve all been robbed by his sudden departure. He will be sorely missed.”

With a career spanning over three decades in the advertising and media industry, he was a widely respected expert on branding.

At the time of his death Patterson was Business Director at Omnicom, a member of the board of the Audit Bureau of Circulations South Africa, and vice-chairman of Advertising Media Association of SA (AMASA).

He also served on the print subcommittee of the South African Audience Research Foundation, (SAARF) which carries out major media surveys such as AMPS and RAMS, and on an industry steering initiative to shape the future of the TV landscape.

In a statement, AMASA said it was devastated by the news of Patterson’s untimely and tragic death.

“Gordon has been one of the leading lights in the media industry in South Africa and his passion for media, and indeed for life, is mirrored in his unstinting and selfless service to the industry for over three decades. Uncompromising in his business principles and unmatched in his desire to share his knowledge with newcomers to the industry, without thought of personal reward, Gordon has left an indelible impression on the advertising and media industry,” the statement continued.

Previously, Patterson was Group MD of SMV Group and Chairman of Vivaki South Africa. In 2008 he launched MediaVest South Africa. He was a past chairman of the Media Directors Circle and the founding director of the AMF in SA, in which he still holds a directorship.

Twitter and Facebook carried numerous messages of sympathy and condolences for his wife, Sonja and his family.