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Agency of the Year 2016

Events & Awards

Agency of the Year 2016

We’ve been hearing about ‘tough times’ since last year and, indeed, budgets have shrunk as expectations – even demands – have expanded. In what some may call such a hostile environment, it’s harder to win – but that makes the win even sweeter. And so, in our annual tradition, we look back at 2016’s most awarded campaigns and the agencies behind them. The list is based on a tally of the campaigns in 2016 that won at the Clio Awards, Cannes Lions, Dubai Lynx, Effie Global, MENA Effie Awards, Festival of Media Global and Festival of Media MENA.


  1. J. Walter Thompson (208 points)
  2. Memac Ogilvy (188 points)
  3. BBDO (169 points)
  4. FP7 (102 points)
  5. Leo Burnett (99 points)
  6. OMD (64 points)
  7. UM MENA (45 points)
  8. Starcom/Starcom Mediavest Group (35 points)
  9. MEC (31 points)
  10. Initiative (24 points)

This year, like last year, the creative networks came out victorious, scoring among the top five. J. Walter Thompson ranked first, jumping up from fourth position last year largely on the back of “The Good Note”, which scored 57 points for the network.

Meanwhile, last year’s top network, Leo Burnett, dropped to fifth position this year. FP7, 2015’s second-highest scorer, also dropped, coming in at fourth place this year; the second spot was bagged by Memac Ogilvy, jumping up by one position.

Impact BBDO climbed from fifth to third place this year with much credit to “Give Mom Back her Name” for UN Women, which scored 40 points.

On the media side, OMD ranked sixth – up from eighth place last year – followed by new entrant UM MENA, then Starcom/Starcom Mediavest Group, another new entrant MEC and, staying at the same place as last year, Initiative. Last year’s Top Ten rankers Mindshare and Y&R were nowhere on the list, trailing behind with 19 and 15 points respectively.


  1. Memac Ogilvy Dubai (146 points)
  2. Impact BBDO Dubai (118 points)
  3. FP7/DXB (71 points)
  4. J. Walter Thompson Beirut (66 points)
  5. Leo Burnett Beirut (51 points)

Memac Ogilvy Dubai ranked first, soaring up from fourth position last year, largely on the back of two critically acclaimed campaigns: “Back off Radio” and “Handle on Hygiene”. Impact BBDO Dubai followed, with a major push from “Give Mom Back Her Name” and some from “7Up Wall of Music” (19 points) and “Goodbye Bad Luck” (20 points) for La Libanaise Des Jeux. FP7 Dubai – the MENA Effie Awards’ Agency of the Year – came in third, dropping from first place last year, followed by J. Walter Thompson Beirut and Leo Burnett Beirut.


  1. OMD Dubai (16 points)
  2. Media Direction/OMD Egypt (15 points)
  3. Starcom Dubai (14 points)
  4. Initiative Media Cairo (10 points)
  5. OMD Cairo (7 points)

It’s worth noting that the media agencies garnered significantly lower points than their creative counterparts. For instance, at No. 1 is OMD Dubai with 16 points versus its creative counterpart Memac Ogilvy Dubai, which scored 146 points. It was interesting to see three of the top five rankers come from Egypt, namely OMD Egypt, Initiative Cairo and OMD Cairo at second, fourth and fifth positions, respectively, while the second place went to Starcom Mediavest Group Dubai.


Communicate’s Agency of the Year ranking celebrates the most awarded campaigns of the year and the agencies creating them. We considered seven big award shows globally and in the region: Cannes Lions, Dubai Lynx, Effie Global Awards, MENA Effie Awards, Festival of Media Global, Festival of Media MENA and the Clio Awards.

We tallied up the wins each campaign garnered across the shows and scored them according to the following system:

Grand Prix: 5 points

Gold: 4 points

Silver: 3 points

Bronze: 2 points

We gave points each time a campaign won one of these prizes at the above-mentioned awards. We noticed that some campaigns consisted of various different executions. When all executions of a campaign won in the same category, we counted it as one win. Similarly, when only a part of the execution won in another category, we counted it as one win. For instance, when two parts of a five-part campaign won in the same category, we counted it as one win and not two.

This year, we are re-introducing separate lists for creative and media agencies due to the feedback we received following an integrated list last year. However, we will still continue to have the Most Awarded Network of the Year featuring both media and creative networks in the same list.

In some instances, the same campaign has been entered under slightly different names. We have considered this as one campaign so as to not dilute the points and affect the ranking of the campaign. However, in other instances, the same campaign (as far as we can tell) has been entered under completely different names. In such cases, we have considered both as two separate campaigns, as there was no way of individually verifying all such instances.

Additionally, if the same campaign has been entered by the network or by the office in different categories, we have considered the name of the entrant company (network or office) as mentioned in the final winner list.

In instances where an agency has entered as a network across awards and categories, we haven’t considered its score for Most Awarded Agency of the Year; it has only been considered for Most Awarded Network of the Year.

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