Ad Agency supremos – the search for the X factor

The judges were interested in focus on excellence in every area – from strong business performance through to management approaches and of course excellence in the service the agency provides. They were also looking for an agency with the X factor.

This year, for the first time, Top200 lead sponsor Deloitte provided additional horsepower for the judging process via associate director Rebecca Wright, to whom entrants could supply financials in confidence. AdMedia editor David Gapes cited Wright’s contribution as “an unqualified success”.

“Wright quickly grasped the essentials of the ad biz and really entered into the spirit of the event, contributing effectively to the overall performance of all the judging panel,” he said.

“This year – buoyed by high-quality financial input – the judges were much firmer in their decisions, declining to name winner in two categories, and refusing to name multiple finalists ‘just to make up the numbers’.”

Gapes pronounced the advertising profession in New Zealand to be in good shape. “The standard of entries, generally, was very high, and all the winners were outstanding candidates.”

They were:

ADVERTISING AGENCY OF THE YEAR – OVER 50 STAFF: Colenso BBDO

ADVERTISING AGENCY OF THE YEAR – 21-50 STAFF: Barnes, Catmur & Friends

ADVERTISING AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER 20 STAFF: justONE

MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR – OVER 15 STAFF: Spark PHD

MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER 15 STAFF: No winner

ACTIVATION/PR AGENCY OF THE YEAR: No winner

CEO/MD OF THE YEAR: Bryan Crawford (DraftFCB)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – MEDIA: Ying Yu (Spark PHD)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – CREATIVE: Eloise Jack (Colenso BBDO).

The judges said:

• Colenso BBDO’s ability to stay at the top of its game despite large account loss, and to continue to grow and innovate while increasing profitability made theirs the winning entry. At the top line, the agency posted steady-as-she-goes result, maintaining reasonably consistent but solid revenue and employee base. The judges were impressed with the management of costs, resulting in an increased profit as percentage of revenue.

• Barnes, Catmur & Friends was confidently single-minded in the approach to its business, the judges said. Its growth has been focused and steadily inclining. Its financial performance was sound and its commitment to its craft resulted in an excellent awards performance. Barnes, Catmur & Friends expanded the number of employees and grew its revenue base by an even higher percentage, and managed their costs, to enjoy strong profit as percentage of revenue.

 justONE enjoyed strong revenue and profit growth, plus growth in revenue per person. The agency had its best financial year ever, with increased revenue and profits. justONE can be proud of the fact that the profit as percentage of revenue was well above industry norms.

• Spark PHD recorded strong financial performance, low staff churn, employed innovative management approaches, and achieved great recognition through industry awards. Spark PHD achieved steady growth on solid base, through expanding its team and slightly increasing the revenue per employee.

• Bryan Crawford (DraftFCB) showed vision, focus and leadership which was instrumental in

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