In 1948, David Ogilvy founded the agency that would become Ogilvy & Mather. Starting with no clients and a staff of two, he built his company into one of the eight largest advertising networks in the world with more than 500 offices and 20,000 staff across 169 cities.
Ogilvy & Mather South Africa’s origins lie with a small hot shop in Cape Town, founded by Bob Rightford, Brian Searle-Tripp and Roger Makin in 1976. After merging with Ogilvy in 1984, Ogilvy & Mather RS-TM dominated the local creative scene during the first decade and over the next twenty years was recognized as a brand-focused agency that acted with integrity.
During the 1990’s, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa soared creatively under the leadership of Robyn Putter (1950-2010), who eventually went on to become the global creative head of WPP.
Today, Ogilvy & Mather is the leader in the industry, focused on building and transforming brands. Employing more than 900 staff across three offices, O&M remains true to David’s vision; we still see ourselves as a company that does more than ads and have proven that by maintaining our humility and an almost divine discontent at our past successes, we can do more than stay relevant. For more than 50 years, O&M South Africa has created iconic advertising for clients such as KFC, VW, SAB, BP, DStv and Kraft, and we continue to live by our founders credo of “We sell, or else”.
*Non Executive Director
Back in the 1990’s, the former, and late, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, Robyn Putter, pioneered the company’s Black Economic Empowerment initiative to ensure that we responded to the need for genuine transformation in South Africa. The company was one of the first advertising agencies in South Africa to acquire an A Empowerdex rating, and prides itself on producing work, hiring talent and working with shareholders and suppliers in a way that is truly representative of the people of this country.
Today, we’re a company that reflects the energy and diversity of our country and are a BEE Level 1 contributor.
O&M SA has always been guided by the credo ‘do the right thing’. The company has always played a meaningful role in the communities that surround them, as well as through using ideas and innovation to communicate the causes of others. O&M SA contributes financially and in-kind to many worthwhile social initiatives. These include The Topsy Foundation, KFC Add Hope, Greenpeace Africa, Read Educational Trust and The National Sea Rescue Institute.
In 2012, as they have since its inception, the company answered the call by Madiba to give 67 minutes of time to those in need. O&M staff, suppliers and clients joined forces with the South African Department of Education in their endeavour to to fix up the infrastructure in deserving schools.
In 2014, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa also launched its new SPEECH™ framework to govern reporting on various ethical and sustainable initiatives across the agency group. Click here to visit the SPEECH™ page.