Since its inception in 1990, the AdFocus Awards have provided a platform for individuals and agencies to be recognised not only for their creative marketing skills, but for their overall business acumen as well.

Media personality and editor of the Financial Mail AdFocus Magazine, Jeremy Maggs, convened the panel of jurors, which was headed up by Phumi Mashigo. Mashigo is the founding managing director of Ignitive, a stakeholder management and communications company.

Mashigo, together with other industry experts, adjudicated entries against four effective measures: New Business and Growth, Business Retention and Relationships, Training and Industry Recognition and Empowerment/Social Responsibility.

Panel members applied their scores in secret, with finalist agencies participating in Q&A sessions with the jurors in order to determine the overall category winners. 

"In advertising, we are used to competing and have become very good at entering awards or putting our best foot forward for judges. In this exceptionally tight economy, the level of creativity displayed by the entrants when displaying their wares made for very robust judging sessions. I believe that the winners prove that where creativity leads, profits follow," says Mashigo.

This year also included the addition of a new category, the Financial Mail Creative Challenge. The Creative Challenge is a print advertising contest that gives art directors and copy-writers an opportunity to deliver high impact, tactical print ads for their clients and a chance to win free placement in the weekly Financial Mail magazine.

The Shapeshifter Award replaced the New Broom Award from previous years.

The 2018 Financial Mail AdFocus Award winners are:
  • Lifetime Achiever Award – Professor Ludi Koekemoer
  • Shapeshifter Award – Karabo Poppy Moletsane
  • Industry Leader of the Year – Mariana O’Kelly
  • Agency of the Year – Ogilvy Johannesburg
  • Small Advertising Agency of the Year – Collective ID
  • Medium Advertising Agency of the Year – King James Group
  • Large Advertising Agency of the Year – Ogilvy Johannesburg
  • Specialist Agency of the Year – Grid Worldwide
  • Partnership of the Year (sponsored by IAS/Scopen) – FCB Joburg / Toyota
  • Transformation Award – Collective ID
  • Independent Media Agency of the Year – TMI Media
  • Network Media Agency of the Year – Vizeum
  • African Impact Award – Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Student of the Year – Felicity Davies
  • Financial Mail Creative Challenge – M&C Saatchi Abel
The Financial Mail AdFocus Magazine is South Africa’s largest brand communications review and will be distributed with the Financial Mail on Thursday, 29 November. The MediaShop once again sponsored the Wi-Fi at the event.

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