Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa Tops Performance Ranking

JOHANNESBURG - Saatchi & Saatchi's Johannesburg and Cape Town offices have been voted best performing agencies in the Objectivity Agency Performance Review Survey of Advertising Agency Performances for 2008.

Saatchi & Saatchi Johannesburg secured first place, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town in second place, in the Best Performing Advertising Agencies Overall category. Saatchi & Saatchi was also recognised in the brand awareness category and was ranked fourth.

The survey conducted by Objectivity, a specialist perception measurement and monitoring firm, gauged the views of 700 advertisers and marketing executives from major companies and brands in the country, regarding agency performance in South Africa.

"This recognition shows how our agency has regained its rightful place in the industry and amongst clients," says Saatchi & Saatchi CEO, Gail Curtis, who took over the reins of the company in 2006. "Our reputation is now more in keeping with the Global Saatchi brand and is a win for both our Johannesburg and Cape Town operations."

According to Curtis, Saatchi & Saatchi regards itself as a 'Peak Performance Organisation'. "We use a model that helps organisations achieve and sustain peak performance to be the best in their field and our success as a top performer provides evidence that this methodology is working," she explains.

"Over the last three years teams in both offices have totally reinvented themselves with the intention of getting key players within the organisation to perform at Peak and to attract key players into our company. In our drive for reinvention it has been critical to attract people with different areas of expertise outside the traditional mainstream advertising arena and we have replaced apples with digitally minded oranges."

She explains that the unique foundation of 'Peak Performance' defines the purpose of a company - the what, why and how. "Our teams understand that our greatest imaginable challenge/inspiration dream is to be revered as the hothouse for world changing ideas that create sustainable, profitable growth for our clients; our focus is to fill the world with Lovemarks - products and services that connect with consumers in an emotionally positive way to deliver higher commercial returns; and we do things in the spirit of one team, one dream and the belief that nothing is impossible."

"It's our belief that peak performance calls for love and passion and that peak performers love what they do, are better than anyone else and live in the now and think in the next. Peak Performers dream it, then they do it and then they aim higher," she adds. "Our people foster an intense desire to be the best and an insatiable desire to win and to achieve their personal goals."

Internationally, under the leadership of Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi has grown market share for 11 straight years and achieved outstanding success at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. In 2007 at Cannes, the network achieved third place in the 'Network of the Year' rankings, and lead office New York was awarded global "Agency of the Year".

In South Africa Saatchi & Saatchi is the creative agency for leading brands that include Procter & Gamble, BOE, Engen, Guinness, Voltaren,, Sanofi-Aventis, Brandhouse, Peugeot, and Markham.

"Love is the future of brands and agencies," says Andy Peterson from Procter & Gamble, a Saatchi & Saatchi client. "Saatchi & Saatchi know this and are passionately committed to LOVE, which is what sets them apart, and what must set our brands apart too."

In 2008 Saatchi & Saatchi SA, which posted a revenue increase of 30%, became one of only eight "Lighthouse Agencies" in the global network of 153 giving the South African operation the same status as Saatchi & Saatchi offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Copenhagen and Dubai, as part of a global initiative to rocket the group's growth," says Curtis.

Local awards in 2008 included 1x bronze Lion Cannes, 6x Cannes shortlists, a bronze and two Merit Awards at the One Show, a New York Advertising Festival Bronze Medal, 4 Loeries (1 silver, 3 bronze), Grand Prix Winner VUKA Television Awards, Ad of the Month - Feb, March, June and July 2008, 1x bronze Eagle and 1x gold Pendoring.

"With our combined strengths of peak performance and a strong creative team we are unstoppable," adds Curtis, who was recently named as one of SA's most influential women, receiving top honours in CEO magazine's 2008 annual list of female achievers in the Telecommunication, Media, TV, Radio and Press category.

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