Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Agency Scope Insights: Independent creative agencies to watch

Following the Agency Scope study conducted late in 2019 and with results presented early this year, Scopen has announced its independent creative agencies to watch and follow in South Africa.
The Scopen results show that independent or local agencies have a competitive advantage when it comes to an in-depth understanding of the local consumer and industry sectors, and strong local insights for strategic planning. In general, they are seen to be more agile and less expensive than their network counterparts.

Independent agencies have performed very well since the last study. Now that we have conducted three studies, it is possible to see which agencies have really performed year-on-year and have improved their position.


The specialist in B2B. Demographica reinforces its positioning in all attributes and becomes more attractive and ‘ideal’ to fit marketers needs. It leads performance in good thinking beyond traditional advertising, use of research in developing strategy, innovation (digital and business transformation) and direct marketing.

House of Brave

One of the three independents among the top 10 agencies with higher client satisfaction. House of Brave leads performance in integrated services offering. The agency has reinforced positions across all indicators being one of the independents with best improvement in the last two years.

Joe Public United

The agency with the highest client satisfaction. Joe Public United leads in eight key criteria, with the agency receiving the most certificates for leading attributes in the study. The agency ranks second in creativity and as an ‘ideal’ agency. It is the third most attractive agency (included in shortlists).

King James

It is perceived as the third-most attractive agency and the second-most attractive for inclusion in shortlists and in overall perception. It is the leading agency in overall market perception in Cape Town.


99c is one of the agencies that has improved the most in its perception and image in the marketplace. Its activity in Johannesburg has reinforced its attractiveness and positioning as an ‘ideal’ agency. It is the agency perceived as offering the best value for money.

Paton Tupper

Another agency improving its overall perception in the marketplace and with a leading position in marketing services. The second-placed agency most strongly perceived for good value for money. It is ranked by its current clients as one of the leading agencies for its good working processes, meeting of deadlines, maximisation of client investment and sales promotions.


One of the two agencies that has been among the top seven agencies with the highest client satisfaction in the three waves of our study. Clients highlight its strengths in strategy, creativity and account service. It is one of the two agencies that lead in ‘adds value to clients’ businesses.

In 2019, Scopen completed the third edition of Agency Scope in South Africa, a biennial study (conducted every two years) of the creative, communication and media agencies. Our universe of analysis was comprised of the highest-level decision-makers in marketing, communications, advertising, digital, media and procurement from the largest and most relevant marketers in the country.

The professionals interviewed in each company had to be involved in and interacting with, on an on-going basis, the decision-making process for selecting and approving their agencies’ work. We conducted 403 interviews with executives from leading companies in South Africa with an average turnover of more than R4.7bn in 2019. The fieldwork with marketers took place between May and September 2019.

Agency Scope is a study of the creative and media agency landscape in South Africa. It is a biennial study conducted by Scopen Africa which is part of the Scopen Global group that is active in 12 countries. Our universe of analysis in 2019/2020 in South Africa consisted of 239 face-to-face interviews with the highest-level decision makers in marketing.
Get a daily news update via WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletters.

About Johanna McDowell

Johanna McDowell counsels clients and agencies around expectations in the advertising, marketing process. She is CEO of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS) and managing partner for SCOPEN in the UK and South Africa. Contact Johanna on tel +27 (0)10 594 0281, email her at and follow her on Twitter at @jomcdowell.