#AgencyLeaders2017: Most admired ad agency boss in Cape Town
by Herman Manson (@marklives) Today we reveal which agency leaders were most admired by their peers in Cape Town during 2017! This is part of this week’s announcement of the 2017 MarkLives Agency Leaders’ Most Admired Poll results for Cape Town. Next week will be the Joburg results, followed by the national results in two weeks’ time.
- Monday: Most-admired agency bosses in Cape Town
- Tuesday: Most-admired creative leaders in Cape Town
- Wednesday: One to watch in Cape Town
- Thursday: Most-admired agencies in Cape Town
- Friday: Most digitally integrated in Cape Town
- Monday 26 February: Contribution to agency diversity and transformation (Cape Town)
Every year since 2012, MarkLives has been polling South Africa’s top agency leaders to find out what they think of their competitors, whom they see as effective managers and great creative leaders, and where they believe their future competition is likely to come from. We ask them who’s got digital integration right and — for the first time — who’s done best on transformation.
The most-admired agency boss in Cape Town
Co-founder & chief executive
King James Group
James Barty has pulled a hat-trick — he’s been named the most-admired agency boss in Cape Town for the third year running. He leads one of the largest independent agencies in the country, with a blue-chip client base that includes Pick n Pay, Sanlam, Santam and a host of Tiger Brands and AB Inbev brands.
After winning the retail business for the launch of Tyme Digital by Commonwealth Bank SA in South Africa, King James was awarded the full account after six months on the account; it will now be responsible for all elements of launching the brand into the local market in 2018. In another significant win, Allan Gray announced the appointment of King James the Second (II) as its new agency in mid-2016.
It also achieved 19% year-on-year revenue growth in a touch economic climate.
Barty took the top spot in both 2016 and 2015. In 2014, it was Adrian Hewlett, then CEO of Publicis Machine; in 2013, it was Gavin Levinsohn, ex-MD of Ogilvy Cape Town and, in 2012, our inaugural poll, Claire Cobbledick (then MD of The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town) tying with Barty for the top spot.
The runners-up (tied)
Andrew Brand runs Ninety9Cents (99c), the Cape Town agency best-known for its work on Shoprite/Checkers but which also works on Ackermans, Bryte and Capitec. In 2017, it was appointed lead creative and digital agency for Spur Steak Ranches after a four-way pitch. 99c also works on John Dory’s, Panarottis Pizza Pasta and Captain DoRegos, which all fall under the Spur Corporation umbrella.
CEO & chief creative officer
NATIVE VML (now VML South Africa)
Xenopoulos commutes between Cape Town and Johannesburg as the CEO and CCO of NATIVE VML, which was named Entertainment Agency of the Year 2017 in the Cannes Lions Global Creativity Report. The agency also ranked third among the top South African agencies at the 2017 Loerie Awards, and was ranked fourth among agencies from across Africa and the Middle East.
In 2016, our runner was Mike Abel, founding partner of M&C Saatchi Abel. There were no runners-up in 2014 or 2015. In 2013, Barty was runner-up; in 2012, it was Levinsohn.
How the poll works
Towards the end of 2017, we invited agency executives to nominate their most-admired agency, creative leader and most-admired agency both in their region (Johannesburg or Cape Town) and nationally. We also asked them which agency did the best at digital integration and at transformation (a new question), and which agency they saw as the one to watch in the future. Execs couldn’t nominate their own agencies or staff members. All the nominations were then tallied up for the final result. The editors of MarkLives had two votes in the final poll.
Note: Runner-up(s) will only be named if they achieved a good nomination tally relative to the winner’s position. Contenders are named if they stand out significantly above other nominees but weren’t able to close in on the winner’s tally. The most-admired agency of the year is disqualified from the One to Watch category; votes cast in its favour in this category are discarded.
Previous Cape Town results
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.