The Jupiter Drawing Room was South Africa's most admired creative agency of the 2000s. It was founded in Johannesburg by British ex-pat Graham Warsop in 1989 (with a name inspired by a short story by Guy de Maupassant). The business expanded rapidly, opening a second office in Cape Town in 1993, and picking up a string of advertising awards and big name clients. In 2006, it astonished the local industry by winning the accounts of three of the country's biggest advertisers on three consecutive days; soon afterwards its management team were voted into the Top Five places in a ranking of South Africa's Most Influential Advertising Practitioners. In 2010, it was named as as one of two South African Ad Agencies of the Decade. After several years in which it had enjoyed complete independence from any global networks, it agreed a deal in 2007, not to be acquired, but to itself acquire the local operations of Omnicom's DDB Worldwide. That arrangement was unpicked two years later when rival marketing giant WPP agreed to buy a 49% shareholding in Jupiter. The South African agency retained standalone status within WPP, establishing its own micro-network, with licensed outposts in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Mauritius. However, performance declined dramatically over the next few years, with one client after another departing for rival agencies, eventually leading to the closure of its original Jo'burg HQ in 2017. A separate outpost continues to operate in Cape Town, with Kevan Aspoas as chairman, but this too has lost several key accounts. Founder Graham Warsop's brother John Warsop is managing director of the Jupiter network in Africa. Graham Warsop remains chairman and also also mentors independent, 100% black-owned Joburg agency Black Powder, run by former Jupiter managers, which inherited most of the agency's remaining clients in that city.
Which clients does Jupiter handle? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database
Who are the competitors of The Jupiter Drawing Room? See ranking of Leading South African Agencies
Capsule checked 12th June 2020
Adbrands Account Assignments is a database tracking account management for the world's leading brands and companies. In other words, which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries. Fully searchable by brand, brandowner company or advertising agency, the database now contains more than 15,000 worldwide account assignments for over 4,000 leading brands.
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