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Pepe Marais

Pepe Marais is currently a Senior Partner and the Chief Creative Officer at Joe Public South Africa/United. Armed with a Graphic Design diploma from a small art school in Woodstock, Cape Town, and a portfolio filled with puns, Pepe walked into the offices of Tholet Sievers& Associates at the end of 1991 and was employed on the spot. Seven years later, he partnered with Gareth Leck to open the doors to their own advertising agency, Joe Public.

During its first year of business Joe Public won Financial Mail’s coveted Emerging Agency Award and was nominated as one of SA’s most promising companies to watch in its second year. Whilst in their third year of business the duo went on to sell their revolutionary Take-Away Advertising concept to DraftFCB America.

On 26 January 2009, Pepe and Gareth purchased Joe Public back from DraftFCB to once again become a 100% proudly South African entity.

Today, Joe Public is ranked as the largest independent and fastest growing South African advertising group, including a brand design agency (Shift Joe Public), a business activation agency (Ignite Joe Public) and a PR agency (Engage Joe Public) in Johannesburg, an integrated specialist agency (Joe Publicn) in Cape Town as well as offices in Namibia (Cornerstone Joe Public) and Amsterdam (Joe Public Take-Away).

In 2013, Pepe was selected by Financial Mail as Agency Leader of the Year. He lives for creativity and currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Creative Circle, is a closet Afrikaans rocker and a humanitarian at heart. This is why he founded Joe Public’s CSR programme, One School At A Time in 2007, an organisation with the single purpose of creating an educational system that is a shining example to the world.

Marais sees this initiative as an opportunity to add to the growth of South Africa, coinciding with Joe Public’s vision of Growthn: growth of Joe Public’sits clients, its people, its brand and the country.


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