Following the accomplishment is the agency's celebration of the expansion of its client portfolio — with brands such as Uber's entire global media business, Duracell, Circle K and Hasbro signing on for its services.

As a leading and award-winning source of international industry news and insights, Adweek engages over six million professionals. The Global Agency of the Year Award is a sought-after accolade by the top agencies in the brand-marketing ecosystem.

The awards say that what made the 2021 / 2021 award cycle a very challenging and unique year is that apart from facing fierce competition and judges' strict criteria, agencies were being challenged by Covid-19.

The awards acknowledged that MediaCom created pioneering creative work in the midst of a global pandemic, uncertain economic circumstances and budget cuts. This placed the agency at the top of the R3 Worldwide's new business rankings for the year.

MediaCom ranked top of the list in new business winnings with an estimated USD$1.2-billion in new billings. Additionally, MediaCom was also able to grow existing client relationships.

The agency says that its success lies in the company's philosophy, which is 'People first, better results'. "Translating this mantra into practice was certainly put to the test in 2020 as the global crisis unfolded," says the agency. 

"At the expense of short-term losses, saving as many jobs as possible, while still investing in talent, were prioritised. This in the face of many other media companies opting for a survival strategy of trimming down on talent-seeking and retrenching to decrease potential financial risk," adds the agency.

"Going against the grain, which is something that MediaCom takes in its stride, proved not only to be effective, but a crucial cog in thriving as a company instead of just surviving," MediaCom says. 

"Our ambition was to make sure we came out of it together, [with] our culture intact. We spent the best part of 20 years building MediaCom's culture," says MediaCom's global CEO Nick Lawson. "Protecting that culture was really our top priority."

According to Ashish Williams, CEO of MediaCom South Africa, this achievement would not have been possible without a people-first strategy.

"At the end of 2020, our company repositioned globally around the sentiment of 'seeing the bigger picture'. Many brands were faced with situations they had never been before, such as unexpected budget cuts, countrywide lockdowns and the rapid digitisation of the working environment," says Williams. 

"It would have been easy to get side-tracked by the everyday challenges and lose sight of the long-term goals. Without the talent and dedication of the people at MediaCom, clients would not have been armed with the invaluable, specialist tools that were swiftly developed to ensure visionary thinking and big-picture actions," Williams adds.

"I couldn't be prouder that, as an agency, MediaCom was able to use the time of crisis to refine its product for clients. A year where we were tested beyond measure, our people delivered beyond measure. I am incredibly grateful to every colleague, every client and to Adweek for the recognition," Williams concludes. 

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