AdVantage magazine set out to discover which agencies, agency bosses and creative directors other Cape Town agency execs most admire. Twenty one of Cape Town’s agency leaders were invited to nominate their most admired agency in Cape Town, the most admired creative director in Cape Town and the most admired agency boss in Cape Town. Finally they were asked to nominate the agency with most success in integrating digital into its offering. Obviously nobody could nominate their own agency or staff. All the nominations were then tallied up to see who Cape Town’s adland most admire. @marklives did the tallying. Be sure to check out the full story in the June 2011 edition of AdVantage magazine.

• The most admired agency in Cape Town

Most Admired: King James
Runner-up: FoxP2

King James is the most admired agency in Cape Town. It scored more than half of all the nominations cast and double the votes of its nearest rival FoxP2.

FoxP2 MD Charl Thom sums up the general opinion when he says King James have continued to stand for great ideas, “and whilst they’ve had their ups and downs, they have been a force to be reckoned with throughout their life.”  Thom says the fact that King James has managed to stay independent plays a big part in ensuring they stay focussed on their reason for being. “Once they’re snapped up by one of the big networks the focus shifts to the numbers,” says Thom. “But if you focus on great work, the numbers take care of themselves.”

Steve Jones, MD of Bester Burke Underground, called King James’s “Legend” Cape Town’s strongest export in 2010. The agency was named the AdReview agency of the year after our poll closed.

• The most admired creative director in Cape Town

Most Admired (tie): Alistair King (King James), Justin Gomes and Andrew Whitehouse (FoxP2)
Runner-up: Mike Schalit (140 BBDO)

Alistair King, King James

King James Group Creative Director Alistair King and the FoxP2 creative duo Justin Gomes and Andrew Whitehouse scored a perfect tie. Interestingly nobody nominated Gomes or Whitehouse in an individual capacity – clearly the industry views the duo as a single creative force.

Says Pete Case, MD of Gloo, of Gomes and Whitehouse; “They respect each other and don’t surround themselves with an old school shouting and screaming culture. This makes it easy to work with them and collaborate. They’re also happy to see ideas flow into any medium, which makes integrated brainstorms an easy process, where no one is clinging on to a particular medium that they favour.”

Mike Abel, MD of M&C Saatchi Abel, says he admires King for thinking in brand ideas and not purely in executions. “He likes to do ground-breaking work and his output always has a freshness about it,” says Abel. “He is a strong tactically and for brands like Kulula has been quick to take advantage of situations.” Abel also admires Kings passion for creativity outside advertising.

• The most admired agency boss in Cape Town

Most Admired: Kevan Aspoas (The Jupiter Drawing Room)
Runner-up: James Barty (King James)

Kevan Aspoas, The Jupiter Drawing Room

Kevan Aspoas from The Jupiter Drawing Room is the most respected agency boss in Cape Town with James Barty of King James a close runner-up. Aspoas co-founded Jupiter Cape Town with partners Ross Chowles and Joanne Thomas. In November he handed day-day agency operations to his new MD, Claire Cobbledick, while taking the position of CEO.

Gavin Levhinson, MD of Ogilvy Cape Town, describes James Barty as authentic, real and low on spin – “And we need more of that kind of leadership in business. “

Livio Tronchin, co-founder of Derrick, sums up the Aspoas vs. Barty debate perfectly after he and his partners failed to pick one or the other. “They have both built such robust businesses without compromising on the integrity of the work of the agency, both are approachable by all in their respective agencies as well as the industry,” says Tronchin. “And both have led many clients to successes they’d never dreamed of. If KevanBarty was an agency, that agency boss would be our most admired.”

• The agency with most success in integrating digital into its offering

Most Admired: ‘Nobody is doing it right – yet’

The majority of Cape Town’s ad bosses agreed that nobody has hit the nail on the head just yet. No single agency scored a significant number of votes in this category.

This story was first published in the June 2011 edition of AdVantage magazine.


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