Agency Leaders: 2014’s most-admired ad agency in SA
by Herman Manson (@marklives) Our annual poll of South Africa’s top agency executives has already revealed which agencies, agency leaders and creatives are most admired by regional peers. Today, we reveal the results of our national poll, which dispensed with regional boundaries and asked execs to nominate their choice of their most-admired peers, irrespective of where in the country they are based.
Some of the results might be surprising, especially given the changes being reflected in the Cape Town results we published two weeks ago. It’s Joburg’s execs who’ve moved the dial to ensure our most-admired agency results mirror those of 2013 (down to the joint runners-up).
Recapping Cape Town results for 2014
Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town and King James Group have tied for most-admired agency, with FoxP2 the runner-up. Justin Gomes, ECD at FoxP2, and Alistair King, founding creative partner at King James Group, have tied for most-admired creative, with Chris Gotz, CCO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, the runner-up. Adrian Hewlett, CEO, Publicis Machine, is the most-admired agency boss.
Ogilvy Cape Town has been voted the most integrated, with Publicis Machine the runner up. The latter is also voted the one the watch, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi Brandsrock.
The Cape Town poll has revealed a revitalised King James Group and unanimity in the vote for Adrian Hewlett as the most-admired agency boss in town.
The poll results are dominated by Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town, Publicis Machine, King James and FoxP2.
Recapping Johannesburg results for 2014
Joe Public has emerged as the most-admired ad agency among Joburg-based ad execs, with FCB South Africa the runner-up. The most-admired creative is Pepe Marais, founding partner and CCO of Joe Public, with Mariana O’Kelly, co-ECD at Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg, and Brett Morris, group CEO and ECD of FCB South Africa, tying as runners-up.
The most-admired agency boss is Morris, with Gareth Leck, group CEO of Joe Public, as first runner-up. Our second runner up is Alistair Mokoena, MD, Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg (ex MD, FCB Joburg).
Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg is viewed as the most-integrated agency, with Publicis Machine as runner up.
The poll results are dominated by Joe Public, FCB South Africa and Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg.
How it works
Agency leaders in Cape Town and Jozi completed regional polls and were also invited to participate in our national poll, where their nominations were not restricted to the reagion in which they are headquartered. Ad execs in Durban were also invited to participate in our national poll. We also asked them which agency did the best at digital integration and which agency they saw as the one to watch in the future.
Nobody could nominate his or her own agency or staff. All the nominations were then tallied up to see whom adland’s highest decision-makers most admire.
and, as runner-up,
Most-admired: Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town
According to Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town MD, Luca Gallarelli, the agency’s strike rate on successful pitches was up there with the best it has ever been, winning every pitch it participated in and, in the process, picking up the following new clients: Allan Gray, Pearson Education, Metropolitan and Metropolitan Health, and 24.com.
Revenue growth over 2014 sat at 16.68% at the beginning of December, which, as Gallarelli notes, “is incredibly strong given our scale”. No business was lost over the same period. Total headcount grew from 278 to 312, representing an expansion of 12.23%. The agency won Agency of the Year at Tony Koenderman’s AdReview awards.
“2014 [is] our strongest commercial year ever,” says Gallarelli. “I’m stoked that we’ve upped our game when it comes to new business. Happy, too, are we that our ambition to build out deep specialisations has gained momentum and is working.”
Runner-up: Joe Public
Runner-up Joe Public saw staff grow from 161 to 183 (12%), the agency achieved 23% annualised revenue growth between June 2013 and June 2014, and it moved into a new bespoke three-storied, 3000m2 building in Bryanston.
Account wins included SAICA, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Times Media, Mandela International Film Festival and Hippo.co.za, among others.
In 2014, the group took home the AdReview Agency Group of the Year, as well as the title of AdFocus Agency of the Year.
Joint second runners-up: King James & FoxP2
King James Group last year won Sanlam, City of Cape Town, New Balance and a cellular offering from Durban-based The Ignition Group, while King James II in Jozi won Garmin, iStore and Altech Node.
The FoxP2 Group, meanwhile, saw FoxP2 Johannesburg start delivering results for Liberty and also won the the FNB business. Other new clients for FoxP2 Cape Town included Unilever, Superbalist, Imperial and Stanlib.
and, as runner-up,
Most-admired: Chris Gotz, CCO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa
Chris Gotz, chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, has been named as the most-admired creative in the country, as voted for by agency execs. Johannesburg-based ad bosses voted overwhelmingly in favour of Gotz.
Gotz came off a big year in 2013, when he was lauded for his work on Carling Black Label. In November 2013 he was promoted from Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy and Mather Cape Town to Chief Creative Officer of the Ogilvy & Mather South Africa group.
Runner-up: Pepe Marais, founding partner & CCO, Joe Public
Runner-up Pepe Marais, founding partner and CCO of Joe Public, is respected both for his hand in guiding agency Joe Public to creative and financial success, and for his interest in having advertising benefit not only brands but also good causes — a notable example being Project English and its One School at a Time campaign.
and, as runner-up,
Most-admired: Gareth Leck, group CEO of Joe Public, and Brett Morris, group CEO, FCB South Africa — tied
FCB South Africa enjoyed a revival of sorts last year, as good news flowed both in terms of new client wins and creative points. Its peers have noticed and have given group CEO Brett Morris a pat on the shoulder for managing well in his first year in the top job.
Morris has tied with Gareth Leck, group CEO of Joe Public.
Runner-up: James Barty, CEO, King James Group
James Barty, CEO of King James Group, is our runner-up in a very tight race — only one vote separated him from from the two front-runners.
and, as runner-up,
Most-integrated: Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town
Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town retains its title as the most-integrated agency in the country, local ad execs believe, by a significant margin.
Joint runners-up: Publicis Machine and FCB South Africa — tied
Publicis Machine and FCB South Africa have tied as runners-up.
One to watch
and, as joint runners-up,
One to watch: Publicis Machine
“One to watch” is where execs got to nominate an agency from which they expect big things in the year ahead. Publicis Machine has won by a comfortable margin…
Joint runners-up: Ogilvy Johannesburg/Gloo and FCB South Africa (tied)
But is being challenged by the Ogilvy Johannesburg/Gloo tie-up, announced shortly before our poll, and FCB South Africa.
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