FOR THE SECOND TIME in three years the medium-sized Johannesburg agency Joe Public has topped the standings at the Pendoring awards for Afrikaans advertising. But it didn’t manage to capture the top award of the evening, the Prestige Award (roughly the equivalent of a Grand Prix). That honour went to Ogilvy Johannesburg, which came second overall, for an Exclusive Books campaign.Draftfcb, which has headed the Pendoring standings almost continuously between its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices, was relegated to third (Cape Town) and fifth (Johannesburg) positions.Joe Public’s four Golds were for only two different clients. Three of them came from the Pendoring Awards themselves; the other was for Kalahari.net. Its triumph continues a strong run of winning awards by the agency. At the Loeries it came seventh in a bigger, stronger field.The Truly South African awards, which can be in any language, were won in various media by Ogilvy Johannesburg, TBWA Hunt Lascaris and Black River F.C.Unusually, the Prestige carries high-value prizes: an overseas study trip worth R25 000 and R2,5m worth of advertising space or airtime donated by Pendoring sponsors.Entries this year “scaled new heights in quality”, according to Schalk van der Merwe, creative director at Ninety9cents and a Pendoring judge. “The judges found the top entries to be not merely good but truly exceptional. If they weren’t Afrikaans they could be from any of the top creative agencies in the world. If only this investment could be more pervasive,” he added, bemoaning the poor level of expenditure on advertising in Afrikaans.“The advertising spend committed to this market is nowhere close to the 28% of household spending power this group holds. Overlooking Afrikaans advertising is an enormous missed opportunity. How else could you say: ‘Spyt jy’t gekyk driehoek baaibroek’ in another language with the same directness, honesty and unique sound?” In reinventing itself “the language has become cool, modern and creative, causing exciting changes in direction”.