The MediaShop wins AdFocus Media Agency of the Year Award
South Africa’s oldest media agency has had a stellar year
The MediaShop is the 2023 FM AdFocus Media Agency of the Year, standing out after an incredibly strong year of growth.
The MediaShop and the other finalist in this category, PHD, stand tall as modern media agencies, said the judges.
“Despite being a real powerhouse in the South African media landscape, it’s clear that The MediaShop has not rested on its laurels,” said AdFocus jury chair Luca Gallarelli. “After an absence of several years from AdFocus, it’s good to see this agency back.”
South Africa’s oldest, and arguably one of its largest, media agency celebrated its 35th birthday this year. As middle age creeps up on The MediaShop, it’s understandably hard to “remain impressive”, particularly when you’re operating at the scale at which this agency does. But this past year is likely to go down as one of its most successful.
Highlights of the past year included growing billing 21% and revenue 14%, an impressive increase given a tough economy and considering the agency’s billing base of nearly R4bn. In fact, The MediaShop’s growth exceeds many other agencies’ total billing.
During the period under review, it won the Nedbank digital account, one of South Africa’s largest digital advertisers with an annual digital spend of more than R200m. This account win is a vote of confidence from Nedbank that the agency can successfully handle both digital and traditional media. It also won the Jägermeister account, together with its partner IntiMedia. In addition to adding big clients to its roster, it also secured several medium and small clients. The Regent Business School account, for example, is a midsized piece of business where the agency believes it can make a difference.
Another highlight was receiving contract extensions from long-term clients such as Famous Brands, Nedbank, L’Oréal, Sasol, the Western Cape government and MultiChoice. In total, more than R1bn was recommitted to the business during the period in question.
Both Nando’s and Shoprite gave The MediaShop one of their highest relationship scores ever last year
The MediaShop believes in building sustainable relationships, so it’s perhaps no surprise it has a number of long-standing partnerships with key clients. Shoprite, arguably South Africa’s biggest advertiser, has been its client for 23 years, while Nando’s, one of the country’s most loved brands, has been a client for 19.
Both Nando’s and Shoprite gave The MediaShop one of their highest relationship scores ever last year, illustrating the strength of relationships that have blossomed into highly successful partnerships.
Together with its holding company, Park Media, the agency launched a performance digital business called Lucid Media, which has grown to 30 staff members in just two years. It also launched a marketing intelligence hub which employs data scientists and business analysts to consolidate research, data and analytics across the business.
Diversity, inclusion and transformation continue to be a focus at The MediaShop. A level 1 majority black-owned (55%) and majority black women-owned (42%) organisation, in the past year the agency increased its black women ownership through staff-owned shares. It also partners with the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, funding studies for underprivileged black women.
Of its new staff hires, 90% were black, bringing the total number of black staff to 74% from 69%.
The agency has set up a loan structure for small black-owned media owners and started paying its black-owned out-of-home media owners within 15 days, an unheard-of practice in an industry that tends to inhibit the cash flow of smaller media companies through late payments.
On the awards front, The MediaShop has also had a stellar year, winning an award for effectiveness at the Marketing Achievement Awards, doing well at the MOST Awards and receiving Scopen recognition where it was voted the No 1 media agency to work for by its peers and the No 1 media agency to work with by its clients.
The big take-out: The 35-year-old media agency, one of the largest in South Africa, had one of its most successful years yet, growing both its billings and revenue.
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