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Ogilvy Johannesburg is AdFocus Ad Agency of the Year

Ogilvy Johannesburg was crowned the Financial Mail AdFocus/SABC Advertising Agency of the Year last night, 8 May 2006, beating five other agencies in the annual competition which judges said was closer this year than in previous years.
AdFocus editor Jeremy Maggs says, "Usually the winning agency leaps off the page. This year that page bounced around a lot and it was obviously a tough choice for our independent judging panel.

The AdFocus Media Agency of the Year went to Media Compete, which put on over R300 million in new billings. Espial-go-to-Market was voted the Brand and Design Agency of the Year, with judges saying, "The winner is exciting, vibrant and with a true understanding of their clients and the SA market."

Ogilvy Cape Town's MD Mike Abel was voted Agency Leader of the Year, while the "New Broom" award -given to young operatives in the industry - went to The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg's chairman, Given Mkhari. Veteran industry strategist, Dimape Serenyane from HerdBuoys McCann Erickson, was given the annual Lifetime Achievement Award.

The agencies, judged by an independent external panel under the chairmanship of brand strategist Andy Rice and moderated by Financial Mail editor Barney Mthombothi, were rated against four main criteria: business performance; corporate social investment; creative success and empowerment progress.

Ogilvy Johannesburg edged out sister agency Ogilvy Cape, The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg, The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town, Net#work BBDO (last year's winner) and TBWA Johannesburg. It enjoyed an 82% success rate in account pitches it entered and formidable growth in income with approximately R150-million worth of new business being added in the 2005 calendar year. Creatively, Ogilvy Johannesburg was also well-rewarded, winning 63 trophies at the annual Loeries competition. Judges were particularly impressed with a ground-breaking empowerment deal developed in 2005 and concluded earlier this year, in which 51.1% of the agency group was placed in black hands.

The Johannesburg event - the biggest annual mid-year industry function - was attended by over 500 advertising personalities and senior marketing executives. This year's judging panel also comprised CEO of the Association for Advertising Zandile Nzalo; advertising veteran Willie Sonnenberg; HerdBuoys co-founder and now group executive of group marketing and communications at Absa, Happy Ntshingila; ex-presidential spokesperson Bheki Khumalo, now director of corporate affairs for Siemens Southern Africa; and BDFM group media sales manager, Dichaba Nkadimeng.

Concludes Maggs, "The Financial Mail congratulates both Ogilvy Johannesburg and our other finalists who have all proved that SA agencies remain world class. One aspect that emerges from this year's survey is that 2005 was a vintage year for the ad industry in terms of business success. We wait to see if 2006 in this strong economic climate will be any better."
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