It’s definitely been FCB’s year at the 2016 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards. FCB Johannesburg won the Large Advertising Agency of the Year award, largely due the committed way the agency delivers on its promises. This is in addition to its digital component, Hellocomputer, being selected Digital Agency of the Year and CEO Brett Morris winning the Industry Leader of the Year award.

FCB’s ethos is one that MD Thabang Skwambane describes as “putting the clients first and ensuring that the work delivers business results”. This year’s acquisition of SA Tourism, which has become the agency’s largest account (and is in fact one of the largest advertising accounts in the country), has contributed to the agency’s 15% revenue growth. There was also new business in the form of Sprite, Exclusive Books and Brand SA, not to mention Absa, which unfortunately took place too late to be considered for AdFocus.

There has been a strong focus on transformation, with FCB’s 51% black ownership and 31% female ownership. The jury also placed emphasis on the fact that FCB staffers share their opinions across print, TV and online platforms – building not only their own brands and profiles, but also keeping the industry itself in the public eye.

This year, there were new rules for all three categories of agency entries (small, medium and large). In the past, some agency groups entered regional groups separately, while others entered singly. This year, all agencies were required to enter separately. In addition, all nonadvertising activities had to be excluded for straight advertising activities to be assessed.

FCB Johannesburg’s win came amid strong competition from the other agencies shortlisted as finalists, namely Joe Public, Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town and M&C Saatchi Abel.

The big take-out: FCB Johannesburg was named Large Agency of the Year at the 2016 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards.

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