by Herman Manson (@marklives) In our annual Agency Leaders poll, we also asked ad execs to take a broader view of the marketing environment and nominate the brand they would most want their agencies to work on (must operate in South Africa and excluding their current clients); which pitch consultant they would recommend to a client; and the industry body and industry awards show they rate the most highly.

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 creatives, and where they believe their future competition is likely to come from. Over the course of the last three weeks, we’ve announced regional and national results in relation to how senior agency execs view their peers.


1. The brand that agencies most want to work on in South Africa

Coca-Cola Facebook cover image


For the second-year running, Coca-Cola is it, and FCB Africa is the agency with the piece of business wanted by everybody else.

Its “Share a Coke” ad, a locally originated creative concept for the South African implementation of the international ‘share’ campaign, was among the most-liked ads on Millward Brown’s Best Liked Ads list for 2014. It also took top spot at the Sunday Times Top Brand Awards Soft Drinks Category in 2015, as well as retaining its position in the top two Overall Favourite Brands (KOO took the top spot). Coca-Cola was also voted second-coolest brand in SA after Nike at the Sunday Times Generation Next Awards.


In 2014, the first time we polled this category, it was Coca-Cola, too.



Nike Facebook cover image




In 2014, FNB was close behind Coke.


The contender

Vodacom logo




2. The most-recommended pitch consultant in South Africa






In 2014, it was also Yardstick.



IAS logo

The Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS)



In 2014, it was also IAS.


The contender

Roth Observatory logo

Roth Observatory



3. The most-admired ad industry body in South Africa (tied)

ACA logoCreative Circle logo

ACA and Creative Circle

This year saw a tie between the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and Creative Circle as the most-admired industry organisation.

The ACA is the official representative body of South Africa’s communications profession. It organises the annual APEX Awards and members are expected to subscribe to its transformation charter, pitch guidelines and the ASA code of advertising practice.

The Creative Circle has made significant gains under the leadership of Justin Gomes (whose term ended in December 2015). It’s moved closer to the Loeries, which dovetails with its own mission to “promoting creativity as a business resource and maintaining high levels of creativity in the SA advertising industry.”


In 2014, the ACA was the most-admired industry body by a good margin. 



IABSA logo

Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa (IABSA)



In 2014, the runner-up was also the IABSA.


4. The most-admired awards show in South Africa

Cannes Lions
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

South Africa’s ad executives voted nearly unanimously Cannes Lions as the awards show they most admire. D&AD came a very distant second, while the local Loeries garnered a single nomination.


How the poll works

Towards the end of 2015, agency leaders were invited to nominate their most-admired ad agency, the most-admired creative director and the most-admired ad agency boss. We also asked them which agency did the best at digital integration and which agency they saw as the one to watch in the future. Nobody could nominate his or her own agency or staff members. All the nominations were then tallied up for the final result.

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 stood out significantly above other nominees, but weren’t able to close in on the winner’s tally.

See previous poll results in this category:


Herman Manson 2105Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of He was the inaugural Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year in 2011 and has, over his 20-year-plus career, contributed to numerous journals and websites in South Africa and abroad, including AdVantage magazine, Men’s Health, Computer World and African Communications.

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Published by Herman Manson is edited by Herman Manson. Follow us on Twitter -

2 replies on “#AgencyLeaders2015: Most desired brand, pitch consultant, org, awards”

  1. Hi
    I own a procurement consultancy and one of the core capabilities and services we offer to companies is to run open and fare pitches (mainly in Marketing). I am a competitor to Yardstick (whom I have a good working ad professional relationship with).
    A question I have is how would my company be included in the running of the best pitch company for 2016?
    If you can let me know I would appreciate it.

    Many thanks,
    Patsy Fagan
    Translucent Consultancy

Comments are closed.

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