Representing multinational giants including Unilever and Diageo, as well as local leaders SA Home Loans, Rainbow Chicken and Tedelex, the country's third largest independent agency, The Hardy Boys, scooped the AdReview Durban Agency of the Year Award at a glittering ceremony at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg.
Recognising agencies who operate across, or specialise within various select marketing disciplines, the Finweek and Advantage magazine-headlined annual awards ceremony based the final decision regarding the 15 winners on combined professional and business performance. Categories included Agency of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Cape Agency of the Year, Durban Agency of the Year, Gauteng Agency of the Year, Design Agency of the Year and Specialist Agency of the Year.
"Durban has always been coy about its talent and it was a natural choice for us to enter such a highly visible, respected awards' platform as a means of garnering the attention that The Hardy Boys and the East Coast as a whole deserves. As a regional hub we have a pool of world-class talent, evident in the recent client wins that the regional industry has secured," comments Alan Bell, Client Services Director for The Hardy Boys.
With a thriving small design shop and below-the-line specialist agency fraternity, coupled with once dominant national players including TBWA Durban, awards head Tony Koenderman believes that Durban has a good base from which to challenge Johannesburg's dominance of the advertising business - just as Cape Town has achieved.
"Durban is vibrant, and is producing good work. When you are caught up in a technological revolution, as the world is now, opportunities abound for new companies to take a leadership role. This could be Durban's opportunity," says Koenderman.