In what was a big night all around for the M&C Saatchi Group South Africa's public relations and reputation management agency, it walked away with the Platinum Sabre Award for the best public relations programme in Africa for its client Tiger Brands as well as six trophies in all.
This placed the agency ahead of multinational agencies BCW and Edelman and the African operations of UK corporate and financial specialist Instinctif Partners, each of which picked up three Sabre Awards.
South African Retroviral also had a good evening, taking home two trophies. Its campaign My Body (Stand Up) for client 1st for Women Insurance won in the Geographics: Southern Africa category and Financial & Professional Services category.
Also taking home two trophies each are pan-African consultancy APO Group (which has its African offices in Senegal), Gong Xommunications - a UK firm with an office in Kenya, Portland, Redhouse Group of Kenya, and international agency WE Communications.
The winning campaign, Reputation in the Can” involved a voluntary national recall of Tiger Brands’ KOO and Hugo’s brand products after a defect was discovered in some of their cans.
“Guided by its values and its focus on the customer, Tiger Brands moved swiftly and decisively, communicated clearly and transparently, and proved once again what we as public relations people know to be true: that brands can emerge from a crisis more trusted than ever if they do the right thing," says Paul Holmes, chair of the Sabre judges.
The Reputation in the Can campaign beat out four other strong contenders for the Platinum Awards:
The event was held for the sixth time in partnership with the African Public Relations Association, which is holding its annual conference in Dar-es-Salaam and hosted the awards ceremony.
A complete list of winners can be found here.