AdFocus 2017: All the winners. Picture: TISO BLACKSTAR
AdFocus 2017: All the winners. Picture: TISO BLACKSTAR

The winners of the 2017 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards were announced in Johannesburg on Wednesday night. FCB Johannesburg clinched the overall Agency of the Year title, as well as the Large Advertising Agency of the Year Award.

The MediaShop, another big winner, claimed both the inaugural Transformation and the Network Media Agency of the Year awards. “For us, the Transformation Award is the most important award at AdFocus and we’re absolutely ecstatic to have won it,” says The MediaShop group CEO Chris Botha. “Though this is only the start of our transformation journey, it is very gratifying to have received this accolade in recognition of our accomplishments.”  

The big take-out: FCB Johannesburg has been named the overall Advertising Agency of the Year and The MediaShop has won the inaugural Transformation Award at the 2017 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards.

This is the second year running that FCB Johannesburg has won the Large Agency category. Group CEO Brett Morris says he is delighted with the award and that the agency has delivered on all levels. “We were very pleased to be a finalist for the Transformation Award and that’s certainly an award we’d like to win in the future,” he says.

AdFocus 2017: FCB Agency of the Year. Picture: TISO BLACKSTAR
AdFocus 2017: FCB Agency of the Year. Picture: TISO BLACKSTAR

Burson-Marsteller Africa was also well represented at this year’s event, winning the African Impact Award, while agency chair and CEO Robyn de Villiers was recognised as Industry Leader of the Year.

Advertising industry stalwart Andy Rice won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Rice founded specialist brand strategy consultancy Yellowwood, and is a regular industry commentator. “The advertising industry has served me well,” he says. “It’s given me a career that has never been boring or predictable.”

AdFocus 2017: Andy Rice. Picture: TISO BLACKSTAR
AdFocus 2017: Andy Rice. Picture: TISO BLACKSTAR

Rice adds that one of his big concerns is that the industry has lost its creative spark. “While transformation is critical for the future sustainability of the industry, for it to work, the industry needs to embrace risk rather than mitigate against it.”

Promise was named Medium Advertising Agency of the Year, while The Odd Number clinched the award for Small Advertising Agency.

Specialist Agency of the Year went to Grid Worldwide, and Ogilvy was the well-deserved winner of the Digital Agency category.

TMI Media won Independent Media Agency of the Year and Clockwork Media was named Public Relations Agency of the Year.

The New Broom Award, which recognises young, smart, up-and-coming innovators, went to Think. Founded by art director Nkgabiseng Motau and copywriter Mukondi Ralushayi, Think is a creative hub providing unique advertising and design solutions. “For a small start-up like Think to be recognised in this way is very encouraging,” says Motau. “Hopefully it exposes us to more clients in the short term and allows us to grow. Next year we have our sights set on winning the Small Agency category.”

The Partnership of the Year Award, sponsored by the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company, acknowledged the phenomenally successful nine-year relationship between 99c and Checkers. The AdFocus judges said this relationship epitomises true agency-client partnership.

This year’s Student of the Year is Keagan Clack, a final-year art-direction student at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography. He wins a prize of R35,000, courtesy of the student award sponsor, Coronation Fund Managers.

GALLERY

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