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Agency Scope Insights: Creative agencies to watch

Following the Agency Scope study conducted late in 2019 and with results presented early this year, Scopen has announced its creative agencies to watch and follow in South Africa.
Global network or holding company agencies are particularly appreciated for the global experience and high-quality execution they deliver.

Scopen continues to highlight those agencies that have performed particularly well and achieved significant results. "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," comments Cesar Vacchiano, global CEO of Scopen.

M&C Saatchi Abel

The agency with the third highest client satisfaction and one of the agencies that has most improved in the last two years among its current clients. The agency leads performance for adding value to its clients‘ businesses, involvement of senior management in client accounts, commitment to black empowerment and evidence of transformation (racial and gender diversity) within client teams.


The only agency among the top three in all the key analyses of Agency Scope. Reinforcing positions in all rankings and attributes since 2017, the agency ranks third in overall market perception and as an ‘ideal’ agency. 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. The leading agency in strategic planning and the second agency with highest client satisfaction.

Wunderman Thompson

One of the agencies that maintains its position among the top five in client satisfaction. It improves performance in strategy, creativity and client service.


A success case among the mergers in our industry. The agency has become more attractive (included in shortlists) and closest to the ‘ideal’ type. It reinforces levels of client satisfaction and becomes one of the agencies most admired by agency professionals.

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 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...

By Johanna McDowell 26 Mar 2020

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.

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.


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