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The winners of the 2019 Financial Mail AdFocus Awards, which recognises and celebrates advertising effectiveness in South Africa, were announced on Thursday, 27 November at the Houghton Golf Club. Phumi Mashigo, chairperson of the AdFocus Jury was the MC for the awards event, which brought together someof SA's leading creative, marketing and advertising professionals.

Since their inception in 1990, the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards have established themselves as the leading platform for individuals and agencies to be recognised - not only for their creative marketing skills - but for their overall business acumen as well. The Awards have grown to become a landmark on the South African marketing and communications landscape.

All the winners at the 2019 FM AdFocus Awards | Image supplied by the Financial Mail
All the winners at the 2019 FM AdFocus Awards | Image supplied by the Financial Mail

The 2019 Financial Mail AdFocus Award winners are:

  • Overall Agency of the Year: Triple Eight
  • Large Agency of the Year: M&C Saatchi Abel
  • Medium Agency of the Year: KingJames
  • Small Agency of the Year: The Odd Number
  • Independent Media Agency of the Year: Mediology
  • Network Media Agency of the Year: The MediaShop
  • Public Relations Agency of the Year: Atmosphere
  • Partnership of the Year Award, sponsored by IAS: M&C Saatchi and Nando’s
  • Specialist Agency of the Year: Triple Eight
  • Transformation Award: Triple Eight
  • African Impact Award: Triple Eight
  • Industry Leader of the Year: Neo Mashigo
  • Shapeshifter: Ernest Nkosi
  • Student of the Year: Danielle Benadé

Virginia Hollis received the Lifetime Achievement Award, where she was applauded for a career that has spanned more than 35 years in media strategy, planning and buying, and in which she contributed to the elevation of some of the country’s most recognisable brands.

Hollis has been a mentor to many others in the industry and has considered it her responsibility to advance the aims not just of the media strategy sector but of the communications sector as a whole. She has played an important role - sometimes behind-the-scenes but also up-front – in advancing research, education, transformation and legislation in the sector.

She was a board member of the Loeries from 2012 to 2018, and has judged numerous awards including Cannes, Loeries, APEX, and FM AdFocus. In 2011, Hollis was also awarded as a Media Legend at the industry’s Most Awards.

Hollis was a board member and driving force behind the Advertising Media Association of SA (Amasa) for many years, and remains a board member of the Advertising Media Forum, an ACA affiliate through whose members 95% of all SA media expenditure is bought.

Lifetime Achiever, Virginia Hollis | Image supplied by the Financial Mail
Lifetime Achiever, Virginia Hollis | Image supplied by the Financial Mail

Mashigo describes Hollis’ contribution to the industry as being “nothing short of transformative. Everybody that spoke about her describes a sweeping force and she deserves her flowers.”

FoxP2 was also announced as the winner of the 2019 Financial Mail Tactical Print Ad competition for the advertisement produced on behalf of their client, Ster-Kinekor, in the Financial Mail Creative Challenge.

The Creative Challenge provides an opportunity for agencies to connect their clients’ brand messaging with current news events and headlines, and create high-impact tactical print ads for the opportunity of free placement in the weekly Financial Mail magazine.

Justin Gomes, FoxP2 Creative Founding partner says: “As our Ster-Kinekor print ad for the Joker, placed opposite articles on Boris Johnson and Donald Trump shows, there’s no substitute for the right message delivered in the right place at the right time.”

The Financial Mail AdFocus Magazine is SA’s largest brand communication review, and will be distributed with the Financial Mail on Thursday, 28 November 2019.

The MediaShop once again sponsored the WiFi at the AdFocus Awards event. Other partners include Ornico, Angel Heart Beverages, IAS and Scopen.

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