The Rise of King James II - Financial Mail

The Rise of King James II - Financial Mail

IN AD-LAND, two years in for any new agency is a tipping point and that’s where King James II finds itself.

Born from arguably SA’s most successful independent advertising group, Cape Town-based King James, the Johannesburg stepchild says its biggest challenge in managing the tricky cost/growth curve is in talent acquisition and making sure existing business is effectively managed and consolidated.

"We don’t chase every pitch and we see additional business coming from existing clients," says MD Charles Matterson. "Also, it’s important to think twice before hiring. A wrong appointment has much bigger consequences in a smaller agency — every member plays a vital role and there is nowhere to hide."

King James II’s revenue band is R10m-R20m (AdFocus 2014) and it counts Altron, Tiger Brands and Europcar among its bigger clients.

In the competitive brand building business it’s often said start-ups compromise on pricing to stay afloat.

Not at all, says Matterson: "There’s is no reason why a great piece of work from a start-up should cost less than a piece from an established agency. In a start-up you are buying experience."

He does concede, however, that there are occasions where start-ups are more aggressive on remuneration and place some income at risk in order to achieve initial traction.