Taking the reins: Phumi Mashigo is the new chair of AdFocus. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Taking the reins: Phumi Mashigo is the new chair of AdFocus. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

FCB Johannesburg is the 2017 AdFocus Agency of the Year. It also took the honours in the Large Agency category. The MediaShop won in two categories — Network Media Agency of the Year and the Transformation Award.

Winners were announced in Johannesburg this week. Advertising agencies were marked on four criteria: new business and growth; business retention and relationships; awards and industry recognition; and empowerment and social responsibility.

In a year when transformation was the key theme in the AdFocus publication, FCB Johannesburg proved it was a leader. The agency is a level one BBBEE contributor with more than 51% black and 40% black female ownership. It has increased the proportion of black staff from 38% in 2015 to 70% in 2017. It boasts 55% female representation across the business. The agency reported 50% revenue growth in the review period, July 2016 to June 2017.

Promise is the winner of the Medium Agency of the Year Award. The past year has been an important one, with the conclusion of an empowerment deal and the winning of a large chunk of Edcon’s business.

The winner of the Small Agency category is The Odd Number. Its first Loeries submission, in 2016, generated nine finalists and two wins, including a gold statue for work on the Great South African Bake Off TV show.

Grid Worldwide won the Specialist Agency category, with judges saying it shows consistency, protects its creative reputation, reinvents itself and pushes boundaries.

Digital Agency of the Year is Ogilvy.

In giving the Network Media Agency of the Year award to The MediaShop, judges recognised a profitable financial performance in spite of a decline in general media spend.

On the Transformation Award, judges recognised The MediaShop’s seven-year move from a level six BBBEE contributor, majority-owned by an international shareholder, to a level one, 55% black-owned, 32% black female-owned business with a training budget that exceeds R5m.

TMI Media was voted Independent Media Agency of the Year, with judges recognising rapid growth in the first few months of opening its doors.

Clockwork Media was voted Public Relations Agency of the Year. Judges noted its success in embracing digital products and building content hubs and research divisions.

The New Broom Award for individuals or agencies not yet established in the industry but making an impact went to Mukondi Ralushayi and Nkgabiseng Motau, the founders of Think. This agency has positioned itself as a creative hub providing unique advertising and design products as well as ideas around effecting social change.

Burson-Marsteller won the new African Impact Category, having added several new partners to its continental network.

Andy Rice: Recipient of the lifetime achievement award. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA
Andy Rice: Recipient of the lifetime achievement award. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA

The Partnership of the Year, in association with Independent Agency Search & Selection, was won by the 99c agency along with client Checkers.

Industry commentator Andy Rice won the lifetime achievement award while Burson-Marsteller’s Robyn de Villiers was recognised as the 2017 industry leader.

After two years as chairman of the AdFocus jury, Craig Page-Lee hands over to Ignitive’s Phumi Mashigo. AdFocus co-editor David Furlonger is also stepping down.

jmaggs@iafrica.com

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