Two South African agencies featured in ‘The World’s Leading Independent Agencies 2014’

Posted: April 15, 2014

[14 April 2014]: South African Independent agencies, The Jupiter Drawing Room (Africa) and the King James Group have been selected to appear in the 2014 edition of “The World’s Leading Independent Agencies”.

“The World’s Leading Independent Agencies” is published annually on a non-profit basis by thenetworkone, the world’s leading independent agencies organisation, in association with the prestigious UK trade publication, Campaign magazine in London.

Inclusion is by invitation only, and decided by a joint editorial board of thenetworkone and Campaign.

The publication contains a series of inspirational articles written by seventeen agencies, from every continent in the world, judged by the editorial board to be creative and thought leaders in the marketing communications industry.

The Jupiter Drawing Room article was written by Joanne Thomas, design creative director at The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town). Her essay describes the agency’s recent work to reimagine and redefine a corporate identity for the global Virgin brand, a company that inherently challenges the rules.

This year saw the King James Group being featured – the first time another agency from the African continent has appeared.

In 2014 The Jupiter Drawing Room’s selection is for a record seventh time.

Other agencies featuring in 2014 include leading independent agencies from China, The Netherlands, Finland, Japan, the UK and Singapore.

A specially created new website,, features their work.

Julian Boulding, President and Founder of thenetworkone (, commented:

“For the past eight years, thenetworkone has published this annual collection of essays with Campaign. We ask contributors to write a piece that will be interesting to read and reflects their values, without being a sales pitch. We don’t prescribe a specific theme or tone of voice.”

“The publication is not a directory, or a ranking, or a brochure. Rather, the purpose is to demonstrate to the marketing and advertising community, the talent and excitement which the best independent agencies can offer, through articles which describe how the agencies are developing their own businesses, to respond to the challenges and opportunities of these fast-changing times,” he continues.

“The independent agencies you’ll find in this publication all have something challenging, radical and innovative to say to the world. They are driven by a passion, a commitment, a readiness to improve and to change, and the energy to grow through their own efforts, rather than by acquiring their competitors.”

In this spirit, Thomas’ essay described The Jupiter Drawing Room’s journey in shaping new design principles for Virgin Global.

“Our challenge was to create a set of guidelines that would inspire Virgin companies as they developed their own identities, communications and brand experiences. Bearing in mind, however, that the Group is involved in everything from travel, leisure, entertainment, finance, health clubs, to space travel, to entrepreneurships centres, green initiatives and more. This meant that whatever we came up with had to be “stretchy” enough to adapt to each different business sector,” she wrote.

“So taking a leaf out of Virgin’s book we said “Screw it, let’s do it”, took a deep breath and dived right in.”

She goes on to describe how a new and innovative way of working was developed, incorporating phases of immersion, collaboration and execution to create a bold way forward for the brand.

She ends: “For us, it has been an incredible journey and we would like to think that a healthy dose of that irresistible Virgin magic has rubbed off on us along the way.”


Issued on behalf of Graham Warsop, Founder & Chairman of The Jupiter Drawing Room.

For further information, please contact:

Emma King, Head of Communications, The Jupiter Drawing Room


The Jupiter Drawing Room opened its doors for business in Johannesburg in May 1989, followed by the Cape Town office in 1994. Together these two companies form The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa).  In 2012 the first office outside of South Africa’s borders opened its doors in Zimbabwe, creating The Jupiter Drawing Room (Harare). In 2013 two further offices were opened in Malawi and Zambia.

The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) has won numerous awards both locally and internationally and in 2010 was voted Agency of the Decade by FinWeek in its annual Tony Koenderman AdReview. It was the first agency from the African continent to have been ranked by US trade publication Advertising Age as one of the top five most creative agencies in the world.The Jupiter Drawing Room FINAL

In 2009 WPP, the world’s largest and most creative marketing communications group, took a 49% stake in The Jupiter Drawing Room brand and operating agencies.