Johannesburg: 22 November 2023 – Joe Public is the 2023 FM AdFocus Agency of the Year, winning the hotly contested Large Agency of the Year Award and the Transformation Award at an awards ceremony held in Johannesburg last night.

Joe Public, said the judges, stood out for its continued creative success, its growth on the back of the Nedbank digital account win and for its strong transformation story which continues to set the benchmark in the industry.

Hot on Joe Public’s heels is TBWASouth Africa which won both the Group of the Year Award and the African Impact Award.

This year’s FM AdFocus Awards winners are:

  • Overall Agency of the Year: Joe Public
  • Small Advertising Agency of the Year: Retroviral
  • Medium Advertising Agency of the Year: Grid Worldwide
  • Large Advertising Agency of the Year: Joe Public
  • Group Agency of the Year: TBWASouth Africa
  • Public Relations Agency of the Year: Weber Shandwick
  • Specialised Agency of the Year: Levergy
  • Media Agency of the Year: The MediaShop
  • Partnership of the Year (sponsored by IAS & Scopen): Ogilvy and Carling Black Label
  • African Impact Award: TBWASouth Africa
  • Adaptability: Two Tone Global
  • Transformation Award: Joe Public
    • Student of the Year (sponsored by Park Advertising): Jané Louw, Cape Town Creative Academy
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ann Nurock, Africa partner of Relationship Audits & Management
  • Industry Leader of the Year: Pete Case, CEO and creative chair, Ogilvy South Africa
  • Shapeshifter: Yatish Narsi, chief marketing officer at MultiChoice
  • FM Creative Challenge: Demographica

Congratulating the winners, AdFocus jury chair and TBWASouth Africa CEO Luca Gallarelli, said that across categories, this year’s winners all demonstrated a strong fundamental belief in what they do while reimagining how they do business. “Without exception, they have set the standard for an industry in desperate need of confidence and examples of excellence.”

AdFocus Project Director Jadi Tillim said, “The FM Adfocus Awards evening is a big event for the brand. We get to celebrate with the best ad agencies in the country and mark the end of another year of successful partnerships with our advertisers and readers. Plus, the FM Adfocus magazine goes out on the night too. It’s the go-to publication for the entire industry – featuring a collection of opinion pieces, interviews, surveys and rankings. It’s also probably the best-looking issue we’ve ever produced….”

The FM AdFocus Awards have become a landmark on the South African marketing and communications landscape. But just as that landscape has changed, so too has the AdFocus judging criteria changed to reflect the priorities of the industry. The awards recognise agencies and individuals not just for their creative and marketing skills, but for their all-round business acumen. Industry peers make up this year’s awards jury while the judging process and results were audited by PFK.

The AdFocus Awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by Arena Events at The Empire with Msizi James acting as master of ceremonies for the evening with Breadbin Productions, the pioneers of virtual production content in SA, responsible for creative production. Heineken Silver was the pouring partner for the event. Guests and winners partied to music supplied by DJ Scara.

For more information on the AdFocus Awards visit

Image source: Masi Losi, Photographic Editor, Sunday Times and TimesLIVE