by Herman Manson (@marklives) Today we kick off our annual Agency Leaders poll with the agency creative leaders who were most admired by their peers in Cape Town during the course of 2018!

Every year since 2012, MarkLives has been polling South Africa’s top ad 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. Next week will be the Joburg results, followed by the national results in two weeks’ time, and then our remaining categories.

The most-admired creative leader in Cape Town

Tseliso RangakaTseliso Rangaka
Executive creative director
Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town

2018 was a breakthrough year for Rangaka in our Agency Leaders’ poll, having been the runner-up in 2017. In his own words, “2018 [was] a tough year in a lot of respects but also a good one for us.

“Our teams managed, under tremendous pressure, to produce really breakthrough work for our clients,” says Rangaka, “the most notable being the evolution of Carling Black Label into a purpose-led brand, championing modern masculinity. The #noexcuse campaign against gender-based violence is a really brave move by our AB InBev client and it was great to see this rewarded with the first-ever Cannes Grand Prix for both agency and client.

“I’m also really proud of the KFC work that’s come out this year. ‘Make A Meal Of It’ was a fun idea led by a strong insight around soccer and the [FIFA] World Cup. It was well-produced, perfectly timed and the internet loved it. The result was great PR for our client and a 20% increase in sales — proof yet again that great creative work yields great business outcomes.

“I also really love the OMO Dirt Book. It is innovative and yet subverts mindless tech at some level. It’s also a good manifestation of the brand’s Dirt Is Good platform. It couldn’t have been done for anything else. There is a lot more-noteworthy work than there is time to mention and I believe we’ve finally clicked into our new groove as an agency. The biggest highlight from 2018 for the team was seeing our work actually make a real impact out there,” he continues.

“Personally, I’m grateful to have been surrounded by the extremely talented, deeply passionate and lovably dysfunctional people [who] make up Ogilvy Cape Town,” concludes Rangaka.

Previously: Between 2017 and 2015 Alistair King, Founding creative partner King James Group, took the title consequetively for three years running. In 2014, King and Justin Gomes, founding partner and ECD at FoxP2, 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

Alistair King
Founding creative partner
King James Group CT

Alistair KingBetween 2017 and 2015, King took the title for three consecutive years; this year, he is our runner-up in what was a closely contested poll.

During the course of 2018, King was inducted into the Creative Circle Hall of Fame, and King James Group SA also listed as the third most-awarded agency at the 2018 Loeries Awards.

“Could be the mountain, could be the air, could be the ebb and flow of Cape Town life, but this city has always had the perfect energy for us creatively,” notes King. “Because we started here, it’s always been important that we be a world-class agency in Cape Town, [as] that’s what stops our business sector from looking further afield. I’d like to think we’ve contributed to building the creative standards of the entire country and not just our little corner of the world.”

Previously: Rangaka was our runner-up in 2017 and it was Justin Gomes, ECD of FoxP2, was in 2015. There were no runners-up in 2014. In 2013, Gomes was a joint runner-up, together with Graham Lang, then CCO at Y&R South Africa. In 2012, our inaugural poll, Gomes was also runner-up.


How the poll works

In November 2018, we invited a panel of 120 agency executives  — creative and management, and ranging over a wide spectrum from small- and medium-sized to network agencies — to nominate their most-admired agency and agency leaders regionally (for Johannesburg or Cape Town) and nationally (South Africa). 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 held 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.

See also


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

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