ShapeShifter

Meet advertising guru Bob Rightford, the man behind many of SA’s most iconic ads

In 1976 Bob Rightford co-founded “Rightford, Searle-Tripp, Makin”; what would years later become Ogilvy SA.

From left to right: Bob Rightford, Roger Makin, Brian Searle-Tripp

A defining moment for Bob Rightford’s agency was securing the VW account in 1979 (which they still hold!), resulting in the iconic Kombi ads featuring David Kramer.

Bob Rightford’s firm became Ogilvy South Africa in 1984 when it joined global advertising juggernaut Ogilvy & Mather.

SAB, Unilever, Nestlé, KFC, VW, Defy, BP, DSTV, Cadbury, Pep, Cashbuild, Dischem… the list of Ogilvy SA’s happy clients is long and heralded.

The average duration of Ogilvy SA’s client relationship is 15 years!

Volkswagen is a terrific brand! We had access to Chairperson Peter Searle. That enabled us to work better with his marketing team and his dealers.

Bob Rightford

Usually a client fires the agency. Rightford used to fire clients!

702/CapeTalk presenter Mike Wills

When our relationship with a client interfered with the quality of the environment we work in we would let them go.

Bob Rightford

The finances of running an ad agency in those days were very simple. Our biggest expense was salaries. But we could control that easily as people really wanted to work for us. We were always looking to employ mavericks.

Bob Rightford

Rightford had a reputation for being a tough taskmaster!

702/CapeTalk presenter Mike Wills

Listen to the audio (or watch the video below that) in which Rightford discusses his fascinating career, starting way back in 1960.


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