Since its inception in 1990, the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards has established itself as the leading platform for individuals and agencies to be recognised. The awards celebrate not only creative marketing skills but overall business acumen.

The 2019 Financial Mail AdFocus Award winners include:
  • Overall Agency of the Year: Triple Eight
  • Large Agency of the Year: M&C Saatchi Abel
  • Medium Agency of the Year: KingJames
  • Small Agency of the Year: The Odd Number
  • Independent Media Agency of the Year: Mediology
  • Network Media Agency of the Year: The MediaShop
  • Public Relations Agency of the Year: Atmosphere
  • Partnership of the Year Award, sponsored by IAS: M&C Saatchi and Nando's
  • Specialist Agency of the Year: Triple Eight
  • Transformation Award: Triple Eight
  • African Impact Award: Triple Eight
  • Industry Leader of the Year: Neo Mashigo
  • Shapeshifter: Ernest Nkosi
  • Student of the Year: Danielle Benadé
Virginia Hollis received the Lifetime Achievement Award, where she was applauded for a career that has spanned more than 35 years in media strategy, planning and buying. These years saw her contribute to the elevation of some of the country's most recognisable brands.

Hollis has been a mentor to many others in the industry and has considered it her responsibility to advance the aims not just of the media strategy sector, but of the communications sector as a whole.

She has played an important role — both behind-the-scenes as well as up-front — in advancing research, education, transformation and legislation in the sector. Hollis was a board member of the Loeries from 2012 to 2018 and has judged numerous awards, including Cannes, Loeries, APEX, and FM AdFocus.

In 2011, Hollis was also awarded as a Media Legend at the industry’s MOST Awards. She was also a board member and a driving force behind the Advertising Media Association of South Africa for many years. Hollis remains a board member of the Advertising Media Forum, which is an ACA affiliate.  

Mashigo has described Hollis's contribution to the industry as being "nothing short of transformative. Everybody that spoke about her describes a sweeping force and she deserves her flowers."

FoxP2 was also announced as the winner of the 2019 Financial Mail Tactical Print Ad competition. This was for the advertisement produced on behalf of their client, Ster-Kinekor, in the Financial Mail Creative Challenge.

The Creative Challenge aims to provide an opportunity for agencies to connect their clients' brand messaging with current news events and headlines, and to create high-impact tactical print ads for the opportunity of free placement in the weekly Financial Mail magazine.

Justin Gomes, FoxP2 creative founding partner, says, "Our Ster-Kinkeor print ad was placed on the opposite side of articles on Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. This shows that there's no substitute for the right message delivered in the right place at the right time."

The Financial Mail AdFocus magazine is South Africa's largest brand communication review. It will be distributed with the Financial Mail on Thursday, 28 November.

The MediaShop sponsored the Wi-Fi at the AdFocus Awards event. Other partners included:
  • Angel Heart Beverages
  • IAS
  • Scopen
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