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2012: A Year To Remember

December 11, 2012
Flickr by JeffGamble

Flickr by JeffGamble

With almost twenty days to go perhaps I shouldn’t be tempting fate but with only ten until our Christmas “shutdown” on 21 December, I’m delighted that the Mayan’s prediction didn’t ring true, at least not for M&C SAATCHI ABEL (as he carefully touches wood – old habits…).

Over the past year our young agency, (we will only be three in February) has grown magnificently with the amazing support of our incredible Clients and team. We have developed wonderful strategies and campaigns over a wide number of industries, companies and brands, and it has been enormously gratifying to see many instances of fantastic, meaningful growth and sales arising from these investments.

Many of South Africa’s most sought after companies joined us as Clients this year, such as Edgars, EDCON, MWEB, Yardley and Nedbank, to name a few. And we experienced terrific organic growth within our existing client base including, brandhouse, TAKEALOT and AVI.

What I can confidently say is that if one year equals seven in the life of a dog, then the start-up of a new agency such as ours, in a rather unwelcoming economic, if not industry environment, one year easily equals ten; so perhaps we are thirty years old after all. Reflecting on the past 350 odd days it feels that way – in the best possible sense. Today we have over 150 people across Johannesburg and Cape Town, and a highly successful and viable company built off an entirely new model and offering.

We brought M&C SAATCHI Mobile to South Africa as a new company, one of the top mobile players in the UK. We then opened the highly awarded M&C SAATCHI Sport & Entertainment in November (top Sport Marketing agency in the UK for 4 out of the last 5 years) under the leadership of Justin Sampson with key Executives Joel Stransky and Jo-Ann Strauss. And a week ago we announced our forays north with M&C SAATCHI Africa under Rick De Kock, which opens officially on 1 February, although we already have numerous active engagements on the broader continent.

And there is more to come within the first 6 months of 2013.

When we opened our agency in February 2010, we said that we were very serious about a few things. One, a relentless ambition to grow our Client’s top-lines and market share through highly effective, relevant and original strategies and great work. Two, to attract, retain and grow top talent. Three, to do good by our country and it’s people – and we do. Through a number of significant interventions and investments we are proud to be helping transform the lives of many in greatest need.

And Four, to bring meaningful services, offerings and opportunities to the African continent within the marketing and communications sector.

We also believe that “behavior is truth” and measure our successes only by what we do for all the above-mentioned stakeholders – never what we say.

Many of the industry have supported us in our ambition to bring meaningful change and broader opportunity to this market and we extend our huge thanks for this. We were also delighted to win Finweek’s “Breakthrough Agency of the Year” in acknowledgement.

It has been a turbulent and tumultuous year socially and politically for this great, and thankfully resilient, country of ours. My deepest hope it that 2013 is a year of far greater tolerance, accountability and delivery.

Our people deserve it.

I’d like to thank all our friends for this remarkable year in the agency’s life and wish you a wonderful Christmas, New Year and Festive Season.

Here’s to 2013!

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