Graham Warsop, group Chairperson and founder of ad agency The Jupiter Drawing Room was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 21 May. The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg also took home the grand prize of Agency of the Year.
The agency scored another win, with CEO Renee Silverstone named Agency Leader of the Year. Universal McCann won Media Agency of the Year, while Grid took home the Branding & Design Agency of the Year award.
In presenting the inaugural Marketer of the Year Award, Chairperson of The Creative Circle Alistair King said: “Our award is different to the others presented here tonight because it acknowledges the quality of clients.
Agencies are only as good as their clients. This year’s winning marketer is courageous and innovative, drawn from a big list of clients submitted by agencies. It gives me great please to present Chicken Licken’s George Sombonos with the first ever Creative Circle Marketer of the Year Award.’
The Advertising Media Association of Southern Africa (AMASA) Award for Media Innovation of the Year went to TBWA. Groovin Nchabeleng was awarded Young Ad Operative of the Year.
The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg beat out six finalists to win Agency of the Year. They were: Ogilvy Johannesburg, Network BBDO, BBDO Cape Town, Ireland Davenport, The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town and FCB Johannesburg. On receiving the award Graham Warsop said: “I’m lucky enough to love what I do. The competition we have in South Africa is fantastic and that’s what pushes us to excel.’
Financial Mail Managing Editor Tefo Mothibeli gave the night’s opening speech: “Over the past 15 years AdFocus has been South Africa’ premier ad review vehicle. Every year our painstaking selection reflects the best in the industry. Our awards remain important – last year’s agency of the year reported that on the morning following its win, it received dozens of calls worth of new business.
“South Africa’s ad industry is not without its problems but it continues to set an example in terms of the country’s transformation.’
The AdFocus Awards were presented in association with public broadcaster SABC. In his speech CE of SABC Commercial Enterprises Gab Mampone repeatedly quoted the SABC’s mantra of “total citizen empowerment’. He said: “For the SABC, advertising in one way of empowering citizens. Total empowerment suggests that all areas of empowerment are critical to citizens. We are proud to present the Agency of the Year Award. It’s this creative ability that informs citizens about products they buy or are thinking of buying.’
Host for the evening, AdFocus’ Jeremy Mags commented that the 2007 event was the biggest ever, with a gathering of 631 guests. The theme for the evening was “Classic Advertising’ and the best 20 adverts ever made in South Africa (as selected by The Creative Circle) were shown.
The Awards were presented in a novel way, by the two characters from the long-running, popular series of Castrol ads of yore, “Boet’ (played by Ian Roberts) and “Swaer’ (Norman Anstey).