south-african-coins-banknotes-money-currency courtesy of Pixabay

In which revenue band does which ad agency lie? It’s an important question and one that isn’t entirely clear.

Many ad agencies don’t reveal South African revenue figures (although listed groups such as WPP might reveal aggregated figures for the region or the network, often they don’t break down revenue by agency brands). AdReview and AdFocus both publish annual charts that contain revenue bands and try to answer the question of which agencies are the biggest revenue spinners.

Most agencies are willing to reveal publicly approximate revenue bands for their businesses; this makes for inexact science but gives an indication of where agencies are in terms of revenue.

Even calculating revenue can be difficult as different agencies take different views on what constitutes revenue and what should be included in this figure. (MarkLives encourages agencies to report revenue as opposed to billings: Billings is the amount of client money that flows through an agency to media, production houses and the like — what you can touch but you can’t keep = billings. Revenue is the money agencies get to keep. This is the number we are looking for.)

2013/2014 information

Agencies listed below are included based upon publicly available revenue bands in 2013/2014, sourced from places such as AdFocus and AdReview. Revenue bands for agency brands listed with an asterisk (*) were confirmed individually with agency management. It gives a relative overview of the dominant positions international holding companies enjoy in the SA agency landscape.

The information provided by agencies is impossible to audit and MarkLives accepts such information in good faith.

R250+ million revenue band

Agency name


*The Creative Counsel independent


*FCB Joburg IPG
Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg WPP
*Aqua Group WPP


Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town WPP
*JWT South Africa WPP
*Y&R Johannesburg WPP
Havas Worldwide Havas
*Native VML WPP


*Volcano/Grey South Africa WPP
*TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg Omnicom
*Joe Public independent
*M&C Saatchi Abel M&C Saatchi
Quirk WPP
*The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg WPP


*DDB South Africa Omnicom
*Gloo Kagiso
*The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town WPP owns 49%
*TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Durban Omnicom
*Ireland/Davenport WPP
MetropolitanRepublic WPP
*FoxP2 Group independent
*King James Group independent
*Lowe + Partners IPG


*Mortimer Harvey independent
*Saatchi & Saatchi Brandsrock Publicis
*Net#work BBDO Omnicom
*Hamiltons Advertising independent
*99c independent
*The Hardy Boys WPP


*34 independent
*BlackRiver FC WPP
*140 BBDO Omnicom
*OwenKessel Leo Burnett Publicis
*Promise Group independent

 Note: figures are for 2013/2014. Revenue bands for agency brands listed with an asterisk (*) were confirmed individually with agency management.

Not listed? Want to make a correction?
Contact us with your revenue band for inclusion.


MarkLives logoWe’re moving from web to email, so sign up now to ensure you receive our content.

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist