by Herman Manson (@marklives) Today we reveal which agency creative 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.

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 creative leader in Cape Town

Alistair King

Alistair King
Source: Facebook.

Founding creative partner
King James Group

Alistair King retains the top spot in our poll of Cape Town’s most-admired agency leaders. He’s won the accolade five times over the past six years (once in a tie with Justin Gomes, ECD of FoxP2). He’s extremely happy with the agency’s work right now. “We’re doing exactly the kind of work I want us to be doing as an agency and we have a terrific buzz in our studio right now,” he says. “We’re trying a lot of new things, and I’d highlight our Sanlam UK’shona Kwelanga WhatsApp Drama as an example of how we’re evolving as an agency.”

Written in collaboration with veteran scriptwriter Bongi Ndaba and including some of the country’s favourite soapie actors, Sanlam’s WhatsApp drama, Uk’shona Kwelanga, was a South African first.

Previously: In 2016 and 2015, King also took this title. In 2014, King and Gomes tied for the top spot. In 2013, it was Chris Gotz, then chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa. In 2012, our inaugural poll, it was King yet again.


The runner-up

Tsekiso Rangaka

Tseliso Rangaka
Executive creative director
Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town

Tseliso Rangaka is our runner-up for the second year running. Following Ogilvy Cape Town’s recent organisational restructuring, he now oversees a combined creative studio, supported by Nic Wittenberg in the newly created role of associate executive creative director.

According to Rangaka, the new model creates a balance between the need for efficiency and the required chaos needed in an agency to produce creative work.

“In terms of creative product news, of a second-place ranking by the creative circle trailing just Ogilvy Johannesburg, certainly brought a smile to Tseliso and my face,” says Luca Gallarelli, Ogilvy Cape Town managing director. “We are chomping at the bit to get some of the work that is currently sitting on our desks out into the public domain as we believe this is evidence of the thinking and ways of working we have built into our world.

“Some of the work we’re most proud of is the Audi work for Q2, 011Beats for VW, and the recent #NoExcuses campaign for Carling Black Label, which has made a massive impact in market. Our amazing relationship with the NSRI maintains and we’re so proud to have produced the work for them that we [did last] year.”

Previously: Gomes was our runner-up in 2015. There were no runners-up in 2014. In 2013, Gomes was a joint runner-up, together with Graham Lang, CCO at Y&R South Africa. In 2012, our inaugural poll, Gomes was also runner-up.


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 2017Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of

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