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Agency Leaders: The most-admired ad agency in South Africa in 2012

Date posted: February 4, 2013

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by Herman Manson (@marklives) Who is the most admired ad agency, creative director, or agency boss in the country? MarkLives asked South Africa’s ad agency MDs and CEOs to nominate their peers whom they most admired during the course of 2012.

Cape Town executives overwhelmingly chose King James as their most admired agency, and King James co-founder and Group Creative Director Alistair King as their most admired Creative Director. King James Group Chief Executive James Barty was voted the most admired agency boss in Cape Town, an accolade he shared with Claire Cobbledick, MD of The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town. Ogilvy Cape Town was voted the Cape Town agency with most success in integrating digital into its offering.

Agency executives in Johannesburg picked Joe Public as the Johannesburg agency they most admired and its leader, Gareth Leck, as their most admired Joburg agency leader. Pete Case, Creative Director at Gloo Digital Design, was voted as their most admired creative director by Jozi ad executives. They selected Draftfcb as the Jozi agency with most success in integrating digital into its offering.

To get a sense of who senior ad execs admire on a national level they were also invited to forget city and provincial boundaries and select their most respected peers regardless of their location within South Africa.

  • The agency SA’s ad executives most admire

ogilvy

Most Admired: Ogilvy Cape Town
Runner-up: King James

While Cape Town executives voted King James as their most admired agency Joburg executives, freed from voting limited by geography, overwhelmingly voted for Ogilvy Cape Town. Together with substantial support in Cape Town it propelled Ogilvy Cape Town into the top slot as the most admired agency in South Africa.

The agency enjoyed immense award success with its ‘Be the coach’ campaign for Carling Black Label and has been admired for its investment in digital education through the ODMA.

King James and its leadership team dominated the Cape Town poll. It is well respected, awarded and retains an independent, sometimes maverick, streak in spite of continued fast paced growth  (Cape Town agency revenue stands at around R40-45m and group revenue between R65-70 million).

Ogilvy Cape Town drew 48% of the total vote and King James 36%. Black River FC and Joe Public tied as second runners-up.

  • The creative director SA’s ad executives most admire

Alistair King, King James

Most Admired: Alistair King (King James)
Runners-up: Mike Schalit, Pete Case, Chris Gotz, Ahmed Tilly (tied)

King James co-founder and Group Creative Director Alistair King was voted the most admired creative director in the country. King is well known and admired for his work on Allan Gray (its market share has grown from 3.9% to 16% since 2003 when King James won the account), Santam and Kulula.com amongst others. King is well known for being outspoken on industry issues and remains one of the most approachable creative directors in the country.

No fewer than four creative directors were tied for the slot of runner up. In total ten names were nominated by agency bosses.

Alistair King took 36% of the vote while Mike Schalit (Net#workBBDO South Africa), Chris Gotz (Ogilvy Cape Town), Pete Case (Gloo) and Ahmed Tilly (Black River FC) all tied as runners-up. Pepe Marais (Joe Public) and Brett Morris (Draftfcb South Africa) were tied as second runners-up.

  • The agency boss SA’s ad executives most admire

james barty

Most Admired: James Barty (King James)
Runner-up: Gareth Leck (Joe Public)

King James Group Chief Executive James Barty was voted the most admired agency boss the country. With business partner Alistair King voted the most admired Creative Director in the country by agency executives, the team form a powerful duo at the top of their game, and the tale of how they built their independent agency still inspires creatives to find suites as business partners and vice versa and going it alone.

Joe Public MD Gareth Leck was the runner up. His agency, also an independent, grew revenue 105% during the course of 2012, before going on to win the Nedbank ATL account.

Other nominations with a multiple votes included Mike Abel (M&C Saatchi Abel), Claire Cobbledick (The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town, Nunu Ntshingila (Ogilvy South Africa) and Gavin Levinsohn (Ogilvy Cape Town).

  • The agency with most success in integrating digital into its offering

ogilvy

Most Admired: Ogilvy Cape Town
Runner-up: Draftfcb South Africa

* Only agencies or agency staff who received more than a single nomination was included when we worked out voting percentages.

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