Large advertisers increase marketing and communication budgets by 78% in last two years


Marketing and advertising consultants, SCOPEN, have presented the third edition of AGENCY SCOPE South Africa (2019/20), in which the latest trends in client-agency relationships are published, as well as evaluations of creative and media agencies.

The report analyses the differences and similarities with respect to previous editions and other markets and countries where the study is conducted such as Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, China, India and Singapore.

Large advertisers are increasingly aware of the importance of relying on good partners, so much so that the budget destined for these areas increased by 78% in the last two years. Marketers are investing an average of R204.040.000 ZAR of their budget in these disciplines.

Compared to other countries, South Africa is the fourth highest ranked country for investment.

The ‘ideal´ media agency

44% of respondents said media negotiation capabilities were the most important aspect with 37% stating that strategic planning was the second most important. Knowledge of the market and brand came in third place at 33%.

Pitching is the most frequently used agency selection method by marketers

The most frequently used agency selection method in South Africa is pitching (both strategic and creative), which accounts for 83% of cases. Other common methods are trial assignments (34%) and workshops (26%). Only 25% of marketers remunerated agencies participating in pitches. More than half said procurement departments were involved in the negotiation processes.

High levels of satisfaction

Marketing professionals in South Africa work with, on average, 3.1 creative agencies and one media agency with which they maintain an average relationship of 4.5 years. Satisfaction with their agencies is high, and the percentage of marketers who intended changing agencies has decreased.

The percentage of the contribution of agencies to the growth of marketers’ business, according to their opinion, had increased in the last two years – 20% for creative agencies (17% in 2017) and 18% (14% in 2017) for media agencies.

Nando’s is the most admired brand

Among the brands most highly rated for their campaigns by respondents, Nando’s is situated in first position (32%), followed by Nike (14%) and Allan Gray (9%). Nando’s also leads the ranking of companies most admired for their marketing (by 43% of those interviewed) followed by Coca-Cola (15%) and FNB (12%).

Industry challenges for the near future concern a better consumer and market knowledge, just like in the rest of the countries, as the biggest challenge to face in 2020. 


SCOPEN Africa was launched in South Africa in 2016 in partnership with the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company. IAS specialises in client/agency relationship management and helping clients find agencies. Visit For information on SCOPEN Africa please visit

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