After years of near-misses, M&C Saatchi Abel was named Agency of the Year at the 2015 Annual AdFocus Awards. The Agency of the Year Award is the only one chosen jointly by the Annual AdFocus jury and by agencies themselves. The winner can come from any agency category. M&C Saatchi Abel was rewarded for its business growth, client retention, awards and industry recognition.
In the final vote, it narrowly beat out the King James Group, which was earlier named Large Advertising Agency of the Year. Medium Advertising Agency of the Year was Y&R Cape Town and Small Agency of the Year was OpenCo, part of the TBWA group.
Media veteran Tony Koenderman received the Lifetime Achievement Award for 35 years of contribution to the marketing and advertising industry. Gil Oved and Ran Neu-Ner, co-founders of the The Creative Counsel – SA’s biggest-turnover agency – were recognised as Industry Leaders of the Year.
Grid Worldwide Branding and Design scooped the Branding and Design Agency of the Year award for the fifth time in 10 years.
Public relations specialist Burson-Marsteller Africa ended Ogilvy & Mather Africa’s six-year winning streak by taking home the African Agency Network of the Year award. Gloo@Ogilvy was Digital Agency of the Year – having won four times previously when it was simply Gloo. Sports sponsorship agency Playmakers SA was presented with the Specialist Agency of the Year award. Vizeum SA became Media Agency of the Year.
Partnership of the Year – sponsored by the Independent Agency Search and Selection Co (IAS) – went jointly to HDI Youth Marketeers and Pick n Pay.
Sarah Mitchell, a student from the Vega School of Brand Leadership in Durban, won the Student of the Year award and a R35 000 cheque from sponsor Nedbank.
The New Broom award for groundbreaking young talent went to I See A Different You, a collective started by brothers Justice Mukheli and Innocent Mukheli and childhood friend Vuyo Mpantsha.
The full list of 14 winners was:
Agency of the Year: M&C Saatchi Abel
Small Advertising Agency of the Year: OpenCo
Medium Advertising Agency of the Year: Y&R Cape Town
Large Advertising Agency of the Year: King James
Media Agency of the Year: Vizeum SA
Branding and Design Agency of the Year: Grid Worldwide Branding and Design
Digital Agency of the Year: Gloo@Ogilvy
Specialist Agency of the Year: Playmakers SA
African Agency Network of the Year: Burson-Marsteller Africa
Partnership of the Year: HDI Youth Marketeers and Pick n Pay
Lifetime Achievement Award: Tony Koenderman
Industry Leaders of the Year: Gil Oved and Ran Neu-Ner
New Broom: I See A Different You
Student of the Year: Sarah Mitchell
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