By Herman Manson. We’ve updated our annual agency revenue rankings to give marketers — and agency execs — an overview of the relative scale of agencies in the South African communications landscape.

Agencies listed in the ranking are included based upon publicly available revenue bands, not billings, for the 2020/21 financial year (April 2020 to March 2021). Billings is the amount of client money that flows through an agency; what you can touch but you can’t keep equals billings (eg gross media or production spend). Revenue is the money agencies get to keep and this is the number we’re looking for.


  • Among agencies and group networks with revenue of R200m and over, five moved into a higher revenue band, and one moved into a lower revenue band
  • Out of the 14 agencies listed with revenue over R200m, 12 were BEE level 1 compliant
  • We noted an upward trend in staff count at network groups

List movement

Agencies that moved up a revenue band included Wunderman Thompson South Africa (WPP), 99c, Joe Public United, M&C Saatchi Abel (M&C Saatchi), Carat (dentsu), Grid Worldwide (Omnicom), Flume, Rogerwilco, and Levergy (M&C Saatchi).

Agencies that jumped several revenue bands included TBWA\ Hunt Lascaris (Omnicom), Hoorah, Eclipse Communications, Duke Group, and Razor (M&C Saatchi).

Agencies that moved down a revenue band included Nahana (Nahana IPG), Tradeway, DNA Brand Architects, Hellocomputer (Nahana IPG), The Odd Number, Penquin, and Mela Events (M&N Brands).

Agencies that fell several revenue bands included FCB Joburg (Nahana IPG), ProActive Activation Agency, FoxP2 (dentsu) and HaveYouHeard.

MarkLives Agency Revenue Rankings 2021


Network/ independent

Staff count

BEE level

Group figure

Key clients


Incubeta Independent 160 2 Yes Shoprite Checkers, Cape Union Mart Group, Hyundai, Sanlam, Europcar
Ogilvy South Africa WPP 597 1 Yes KFC, MultiChoice, Cashbuild, AB InBev, VW
Publicis Groupe Africa Publicis 1 000 1 Yes Vodacom, Nestlé, Distell, Mercedes-Benz, Nedbank


TBWA\ South Africa Omnicom 498 1 Yes Spar Group, MTN Group, Liberty Group, Nissan/ Datsun, FNB
Wunderman Thompson WPP 550 1 Yes Standard Bank, Telkom Group, Nestlé, BMW Group, Unilever
Nahana Communications Group Nahana (IPG) 487 1 Yes Toyota, Coca-Cola, Tiger Brands, Diageo, Debonairs


99c Independent 380 4 Shoprite, Checkers, Ackermans, Spur Corporation, Puma
dentsu South Africa dentsu 300 1 Yes AB InBev, Vodacom, Absa, Heineken, Pick n Pay
Joe Public United Independent 280 1 Yes Cell C, Chicken Licken, Nedbank, SAB, SA Tourism
M&C Saatchi Group South Africa M&C Saatchi 350 1 Yes Telkom, Tiger Brands, Audi, BDO, RCL Foods
TBWA\ Hunt Lascaris Omnicom 289 1 Spar, MTN, Nissan, Liberty, Stanlib
King James Group Accenture Interactive (pending) 260 1 Yes Sanlam, Santam, Pick n Pay, TymeBank, Wesgro
M&C Saatchi Abel M&C Saatchi 260 1 Standard Bank, Astron Energy, Takealot Group, Namibian Breweries, Lexus + Automark
VMLY&R South Africa WPP 270 1 Vodacom, MMI, BAT, Colgate, Absa


Avatar Agency Group M&N Brands 100 1 Yes Tecno, KFC, Old Mutual, Telkom, Edgars
Brave Group Independent 105 1 Yes Momentum, Transnet, Absa, Tiger Brands, BP SA
FCB Joburg Nahana (IPG) 147 1 Toyota, Coca-Cola, Tiger Brands, Diageo, Debonairs
Grey Advertising Africa WPP 115 1 Distell, P&G, GSK, Mazda, Volvo
IIG Group (Oliver + MORE) Independent 140 2 Unilever, Diageo, Liberty, Vukile, Adidas
ProActive Activation Agency Independent 105 1 MTN, Clover, Standard Bank, Pepsico, GSK
Tradeway Independent 76 1 SAB, Tiger Brands, MTN, Unilever, Mondelēz


Carat dentsu 69 1 Absa, Beiersdorf, Vodacom, Mastercard, Engen
Clockwork Independent 135 2 Netflix, Microsoft Xbox, BASF, LG, Acer Africa
Demographica Independent 45 1 Vodacom Business, Macsteel, Nedbank, Engen, SA Tourism
DN/A Brand Architects Independent 40 1 First National Bank, Barloworld, Telkom, Apple Music, Viacom
Grid Worldwide Omnicom 53 1 FNB, BetKing, MTN, Sasol, SA Tourism
Hamiltons in Creative Independent 40 N/A Food Lover’s Market, Freshstop, @home (digital), Fair Cape (digital)


Eclipse Communications Independent 85 2 Netflix SA, Pfizer SA, Country Road, Woolworths, Edward Snell
HelloFCB+ Nahana (IPG) 77 1 Western Cape Government, Ninety One, Lactalis, City of Cape Town, Tiger Brands
Hoorah Independent 65 2 Nestlé, Sanofi, Miway, Avon, Discovery
iProspect (and Vizeum, which merged into it) dentsu 47 1 MultiChoice, Clarins, BMW, ABI, Spur


Duke Group Independent 85 1 Yes BevCo, PepsiCo, Citadel, Satrix, Marriot International
Hellocomputer Nahana (IPG) 41 1 Toyota, Coca-Cola, Tiger Brands, Austock, Old Mutual
John Brown South Africa dentsu 55 1 Pick n Pay, Old Mutual, Capitec, Hippo, Life Healthcare
McCann1886 Nahana (IPG) 43 1 Steers, L’Oreal, Reckitt Benckiser, Mastercard, Nestlé
MetropolitanRepublic WPP 50 1 SA Tourism, GSK, Discovery, Danone SA (Nutriday), Eskort
Rapt Creative Independent 30 2 Heineken, Jameson, Schweppes, Cipla, Strongbow
The Odd Number Independent 45 1 MultiChoice, Game, Assupol, Diageo, Newzroom Afrika


Flume Independent 72 2 Woolworths, Astron Energy, Canon SA, Nedbank, Warner Music
FoxP2 dentsu 41 1 FNB, Wimpy, Hippo, 1st for Women, Tiger Brands
Mortimer Harvey Independent 32 1 Old Mutual, Fidelity ADT, Pure Wild Fund, HeadsUp Entertainment Inc, Spinola Software Solutions
Promise Independent 61 2 SAB, RMB, AfriSam, PPS, JTI
Rogerwilco Independent 62 2 Nestlé, Sanlam, iWyze, First Rand Group, The Crazy Store
Sunshinegun Independent 30 1 Nando’s, AB InBev, Nedbank
Conversation Lab Independent 45 2 Yes Unilever, ADvTECH Group, Godrej, Livekindly Collective, LexisNexis
HaveYouHeard Independent 55 2 Yes Old Mutual, Campari Africa, Trotters Clothing (UK), Toyota, DHL
Levergy M&C Saatchi 44 1 Nedbank, Telkom, SuperSport, Energade, New Balance
Magna Carta Omnicom 27 1 MTN, Old Mutual, Allan Gray, Spar, Clicks
MullenLowe Nahana (IPG) 36 2 Knorr, Ayoba, LEGO, Edward Snell, PepsiCo
Penquin Independent 57 1 Suzuki, Microsoft, Grafton Everest, ST Group, Mustek
Razor M&C Saatchi 30 1 Audi SA, Anglo American, BDO, Tiger Brands, Virgin Active
TwoTone Independent 29 1 Nestlé, Diageo, Limpopo Tourism, Ghana Oil


Boomtown Independent 55 2 Nestlé, Easigas, Lafarge, Woodlands Dairy (First Choice), Stellenbosch University
Happy Friday Creative Independent 23 2 PSG, FNB, Vodacom WC, Allan Gray, AB InBev
Hoola Independent 33 2 Tekkie Town, First Choice, KFC, Trumps, Nulaid
Jellyfish South Africa Independent 60 2 Yes Telesure, Investec, First Rand Group, Mr Price, The Mattress Warehouse
Yellowwood Future Architects Omnicom 30 1 MTN, Nedbank, Pernod Ricard, InnoVent, RMB


34 King James Group 14 4 Motus, Game, Betting World, DGB, Famous Brands
3Verse Independent 22 2 Diageo, Telesure Investment Holdings
ATKASA – Digital Agency Independent 24 4 Herbalife, Medihelp, Evergreens Fresh Market, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Jewellery Council Southern Africa
Dalmatian M&C Saatchi 10 1 Renault
Dentsu Performance dentsu 50 1 BAT, Clarins, MiWay, Cipla, Intel
Duma Collective Independent 36 1 MultiChoice Group, Chivas, Amstel, Samsung
Ebony+Ivory Independent 18 1 Brand SA, Sasria, Wits, Sephaku, JSE
GGiSA Independent 12 2 Dis-Chem, Busamed, WeBuyCars, Tetra Pak, UBS
Halo Independent 12 2 Pam Golding, Yoco, Exclusive Books, Capital Hotel Group, Naked Insurance
Harambee Communications Independent 7 1 Standard Bank, MultiChoice, Puma Energy
Ideas Wise & Wonderful (IWW) Independent 15 1 Gautrain, Brand SA, Broadband Infraco, Landbank, Bombela
M&C Saatchi Connect M&C Saatchi 16 2 Hollard, Takealot, Lexus, RCL Foods, Premier FMCG
Mark1 Duke Group 32 2 Food Lover’s Market, FreshStop, Mazda, Pepsi, Webafrica
Matrix Group Matrix Group 65 1 Yes Talk360, Mitsubishi Motors SA, Racing Association
MediaH Independent 12 1 Samsung, Subaru, WeThinkCode, MTN
Mela Events M&N Group 5 2 Standard Bank, RMB, Nando’s, Jaguar Landrover
Retroviral Online Branding Independent 15 2 Premier FMCG, Gumtree, Russell Hobbs, Liberty, Profmed
SoulProviders Collective Matrix Group 25 1 AMKA, FMI Insurance, DIDI Global, Digify Africa, Talk 360

Under R10m

BloomInk Independent 2 1 Maggi, Pikitup, City of Joburg, FullServe
Brandfundi Independent 3 4 Bateleur, IMM Graduate School of Marketing, Superunion, WundermanThompson, Insight Actuaries
Fresh AF M&N Brands 8 3 Budweiser, Smirnoff, Steers, DStv, KFC Add Hope
Goodbye Boring Independent 9 N/A Junior Colleges, Martins Academy, SOGA
IdeaFoundry Independent 5 N/A FBN Quest (Nigeria)
Infestation Independent 12 N/A STBB Attorneys, NOSA (SafetySA), V&A Waterfront, Curro, Vodacom
June 15 Independent 5 1 Motus, Bushveld Mining, Khona La Local Stores
Kilmer & Cruise Independent 9 4 Hill’s Pet Nutrition, CompCare Medical Scheme, Bounty Brands, Dunkeld Trout Hatcheries, Children’s Hospital Trust
One Custom Independent 5 4 Fortress Real Estate Investments, Cricket SA, Entelect, SA College of Applied Psychology
Orange Ink Independent 7 4 KFC, 1Life, Interwaste, Imperial, Swissport
Pekuzi Projects Independent 6 1 Momentum Consult
So Interactive Independent 11 4 AIG, Logitech, Intercare, Ocean Basket, Reeflords
The Friday Street Club Independent 10 4 SAB Foundation, Wonga, Remy Martin, Clicks, V&A Waterfront
The Good Guys Creative Agency Independent 8 1 Old Buck Gin, MultiChoice, Chivas, Black Bottle, Flora
Tin Can PR Independent 3 4 Philip Morris SA, Rhodes Food Group, Brown Forman, Oliver Agency, DSC Attorneys
Visual Aspiration Independent 5 1 Sakhumzi Restaurant, Makola Inc, Safana Panelbeaters

Survey notes

The information has been sourced directly from agencies and holding companies through a survey run via and via our directory service,, and participation is voluntary. Some agencies which participated last year have since closed down and their information isn’t included in this edition, even if they traded during the financial year in question. Others have chosen not to provide us with the data required for inclusion this year. MarkLives hasn’t audited the figures supplied by agencies; we publish the information provided in good faith.

While revenue bands and staff count aren’t reliable indicators of the health of a business, they do offer important context in terms of the scale of new business an agency can take on and their relative positioning in the industry (in the categories small, medium and large).

We also list black economic empowerment (BEE) scorecard levels as this is important for clients and procurement departments. Of course, a BEE score doesn’t necessarily reflect transformation beyond ownership level but it is a formalised aspect of transformation in our industry, agreed upon by the MAC Charter. We’ve also added up to five key clients for each agency; they offer an idea of the brands that each agency works on. Due to space constraints, we couldn’t include all agency clients.

For more agency listings, please go to, our free database of agencies in South Africa. Agencies may create their own free profiles as per these instructions.

Updated at 10am on 8 March 2022.

See also


Herman MansonHerman Manson is the founder and editor of He is also the founder of and the co-founder of

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