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FCB SA achieves finalist status in 'Age Of Innovation' challenge

FCB South Africa's innovative integrated business model has secured the marketing communications group another accolade.

Less than a year after judges in the 2001 South African Non-Listed Company Award presented the group with a 'Special Mention', one of only a few made in the Award's history, it achieved finalist status in the 'Age of Innovation' challenge, which celebrates the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of organisations operating in South Africa by identifying those that have applied 'beyond-the-box' thinking as a means of adding value.

Co-sponsors the Nuclear Disarmament Forum, the LINK Centre Graduate School of Public and Development Management (Wits), the Journal for Convergence and Business Strategies International (BSI) deliberately use the term 'beyond-the-box' thinking as opposed to 'out-of-the-box' thinking because innovation often requires organisations not merely to improve established products, processes, technologies or organisational forms – but to originate entirely new ones.

This is the first time a marketing communication group has achieved finalist status in the challenge, which is usually dominated by IT companies. Entrants are measured against judging criteria developed by BSI within the parameters established by Herman Singh for the innovation assessment tool. Singh is Director: Online Business at Standard Bank SA, an innovation specialist and regular lecturer on innovation at the Gordon Institute for Business Science.

FCB South Africa restructured its business to enable it extend its offering to clients and their brands. The group acquired or organically grew top-class skills in the full range of marketing disciplines, ranging from research and strategy through design and implementation to leveraging marketing spend via PR and other means. Using concepts such as Core Teams and Key Account Plans, the group develops integrated campaigns focused on the needs of clients, rather than on the operational needs of agency business units as the traditional agency model tended to emphasise.

Commenting on the achievement, CEO Neil van der Weele said recognition was always welcome, particularly from the broader business sector because it highlighted the contribution the marketing communication industry makes to South Africa's economy.

"I understand that, when Connexity Publishing convened the Innovation Campaign three years ago, it was in response to the proliferation of old economy awards – typically those that merely scrutinise financial markers such as growth and profitability. In contrast, Connexity believed it important to discover and celebrate companies that have a proven innovation agenda.

"Last year, the Non-Listed Company Award went a long way to acknowledge the group's integrated business strategy that the judges felt was ahead of the rest of the industry, gave it a sustainable advantage over its competitors and created a niche position for the group within its marketplace. And this year, we are delighted that the highly competent 'Age of Innovation' judges confirmed the uniqueness and sustainability of our business model," he said.

Editorial contact

C-Cubed Communications
Petra Peacock
(011) 462-2596

Nahana Communications Group
Nahana Communications Group is a collective of leading specialist agencies that provide solutions across the marketing ecosystem, engaging with clients early, intelligently and collaboratively, to tackle the business problem, not just the creative task.

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