A Tribute To Vic: Ogilvy Cape Town Loses Its No 1 Man

Anyone who has ever walked into the foyer of Ogilvy Cape Town will remember Victor Jansen.  How could they ever forget?

Vic wasn’t just the guy at the front desk, he was an institution, a piece of our soul, a legend.

Victor passed away on 13 July 2011 and has left not only an empty chair in our reception but a gaping hole in the Ogilvy family. He is mourned by his own immediate family,  but also by his family at Ogilvy. By a legion of grief-stricken suits, shocked creatives and a community of advertising people whose day will be that much poorer without him in it.

After twenty years as the face of Ogilvy, Victor will always hold a special place in the hearts of all those who have worked for and with us.  His energy, his never-ending ‘chirps’ and banter are gone forever. He was that ‘little bit of crazy’ with a whole lot of soul.

Below are some of the tributes that have been pouring in for Vic. To post your own, simply leave a reply.

Goodbye Victor – we’ll miss you.

Jacques Massardo, Associated Creative Director

There are many things I remember about Vic. His larger than life presence, his wicked sense of humour, his philosophies. But my most enduring memory is from about five or six years ago, when we were still at the old building in Roeland Street. There was a security sector strike at the time and the marchers had descended on parliament in numbers. Some of them had started to vandalise shop front windows and the police were firing tear gas. Things got nasty. It was chaos. At one point a large group of marchers ran up our road towards the gate. My enduring memory is of Vic standing at the entrance shoving a stick through a small gap in the closed gate as the marchers pushed up against it from outside. This best sums up Vic for me. He was fearless. He was immovable. He didn’t give an inch. He looked out for all of us.

Greg Tebbutt, Business Director:

As one of my senior clients said to me – “you must realise just how special that guy in your reception is, he sets the tone for my meetings with you. I feel welcomed, I feel important and special, I get a smile on my face and I come into your offices feeling really good and positive about being here.” That buzz and energy, the chirps and comments, the jokes, the insights, the care and the love all made Victor a unique and special character. It’s just not the same without him. Victor we all miss and love you buddy.

Tammy Ward from Leading Edge:

Personally I was a huge admirer of Victor, I never quite fathomed we he got all his endless energy and enthusiasm from. He was a force to be reckoned with, I felt Ogilvy were extremely lucky to have suck a quirky, fun and authentic character at front of house. He really was the face of Ogilvy.

We will miss him, in the short few months/years we knew him, I always looked forward to seeing his face upon arrival. I’m not sure who will call me “bokkie” anymore.

Stephen Jones from British American Tobacco:

Without the lively passion and omnipresent positive energy that Vic showed me on every single
one of my visits to Ogilvy, it is clear that Ogilvy and all their clients will really miss the ‘’Vibrant  Victor’’.

Tammy Pearce, Senior Art Director:

I always said he was too big for reception, maybe he should have been in PR or maybe a life coach. He was just larger than life.
Even now I can just see him giving downtrodden angels pep talks.

Lee de Andrade, Media Buyer:

For nearly 20 years you were the first person that I saw as I arrived at work.

You always had a cheerful smile, a compliment about what I was wearing (good or badJ) a joke or something of interest to impart… whether it was to talk to me about your fish, the interesting book that you were reading and recently, you used to stop me and ask me to identify the band that was playing on your PC.

I loved your themed music days. One day it was reggae day, the other was rock… Whatever it was, off I went into the lift with a spring in my step, because of you.

Chris Gotz Exec CD.

The thing that i found utterly amazing about Victor was the breathless, astounding, never-ending enthusiasm with which he approached every single thing he did. Just watching Vic listen to the radio was a command performance.  Sometimes I used to wonder if it bothered our clients to be greeted by Vic in his trilby listening to Bob Marley on full volume. Now I wonder what we will ever do without him.

Jennifer Duke from Trident Press:

I am and have been a supplier to Ogilvy for close to 2 decades. People I have dealt with over the years have come and gone.

The one constant, and the face (or should I say voice!) that I saw first every visit has been Victor. Always cheerful, lots of hugs for me over the years, and boy did he love life.

We lent each other books, we shared family news, (we skinnered sometimes!) I  truly don’t know how I am going to continue to call on Ogivly without feeling sad every time.

I will miss you Victor Jansen!!

 Anthony Walton, Creative Head:

The things that give light to our lives are most starkly noticed when they are gone.

For a thousand good mornings and goodnights, Victor, I’d say go quietly into this good night, but we all know how likely that would be.

Norma Schuller, Refreshment Assistant (and family):

Missing you my angel…. When you come to the end of the road, and the sun has set for you. Why cry for a soul set free? For this is a journey we must take, and each must go alone.

Tayrene Cooke, Traffic Manager:

What a wonderful person.  Always, always happy  – morning greetings, coming to work, happy smiles – old 70’s and reggae music playing – as you enter the building at the start of the day.  Victor’s legacy will forever remain with me.  I pay tribute to a great “guy” who is fondly remembered and loved by all

“May he forever fly with the majestic eagle”

Wi-amm Isaacs, Intern:

I am an intern @ Ogilvy and have been here for the past two weeks. A few weeks ago I arrived at the company for the first time and Victor gave me such a warm welcome, took away my nerves (‘’,) he was such a jolly guy.

On Tuesday afternoon he spoke to me for about a half an hour, telling me about the industry, the company and his past experiences. I learnt so much from him.

I never knew him for that long but he will surely be missed, he was a great guy.

I’m glad I got the chance to meet you Mr Victor (‘’,)

Brad Page, Digital Media Buyer:

Vic – top man. My ‘caffeine fix’ in the mornings. Will be missed – Brad

Abieda Harris, Frontline Reception:

“Don’t worry about a thing, cos every little thing is gonna be alright” – Bob Marley

Your favourite …cos I know you are alright up in heaven…missing your presents

Caryn Wessels, Brand Team Assistant:

We thought of you with Love today, but that is nothing new. We thought about you yesterday and the days before that too. We think of you in silence, we often speak your name. Now all we have is memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is our keepsake, with which we’ll never part. God has you in His keeping; we have you in our hearts.

Rest in Peace

Abigail Wilmot, Key Account Manager at Media24

I’m just feeling so sad about the news – we want to participate in whatever you are doing there for his family.

On behalf of Media24 please pass on our condolences to Ogilvy for your sad loss – Victor will really be missed.

I’ve been looking after Ogilvy for about 6 years and Victor has always been a part of my visits there, in some way or another, even if it was just a friendly comment or welcoming word – he was always friendly and helpful.

Leigh Carp, Project Manager:

Thank you for teaching me to be passionate and positive through your actions every day. Your ongoing support and friendship will not be forgotten.

 Alexis Titus, Art Director:

Here’s  to your crazy conversations
Followed by that crazy laughs.
All in all crazy but we liked it

Here’s to you Vic
The guy that kept a smile on my face
And always had a wise thing to say
Now and again

Here’s to a great person
A good friend
And wise man

All things went still and calm
the day u were gone
Rest in peace
My friend

Stefan Schoof, Account Manager:

For my first interview at Ogilvy I was waiting downstairs for someone to come and fetch me and was apparently visibly nervous, Victor came up to me and slapped me on the shoulder and said, in his words: “Everyone up there doesn’t know what they are doing anyway, so don’t worry!” (followed by his characteristic cackling laugh). Needless to say, I got the job and now I am one of those people who “doesn’t know what they’re doing”. Victor was the first and last person I saw on most days, and he has left such a legacy of good spirits, humour and genuine honesty that it feels like he isn’t even gone. I keep looking for him when I come in, expecting a raucous greeting and a shout of: “Hold the lift!!!!” I will miss you Vic, you rock, thank you for everything, go well brother.

Janine Hapgood, Designer:

Every morning a smile, Laughter, words of wisdom, encouragement and music…he always promised to take care of me and watch out for me and now I know he will as an angel from above…
I really will miss him :(….his zest for life was amazing and we should all take a page from his book!

 Bronwyn Snell and the Redworks Team:

Too many times we wait until a friend has died to tell the world what a wonderful person she/he was, and we are just as guilty as the next person about that. For this day, however, we would like to pay tribute to a very dear friend and colleague, Victor Jansen. We will always remember you Victor. Your friendliness, kindness, the pearls of wisdom you offered and the jokes you told. You will be sorely missed. May the Lord rest your soul in eternal peace.

Psalm 48:14 “For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”

Lovingly remembered by Grant, Newton, Bronwyn S, Valerie, Johnine, Sharleen & Leigh Anne.

Vuyisa Ndleleni, Account Executive

With Vic at the office, he would always..and I mean always say something very funny to make me laugh or cheer me up. That’s the kind of relationship shared with Vic. Our reception area will never be the same again and I have no doubt in mind that heaven just got funnier. Peace and much love. RIP Vic you’ll sorely be missed.

Lara Botha, Head of Production:


You made our lives down here a whole lot brighter

I know the Heavens will shine brighter now that you are there



37 Replies to “A Tribute To Vic: Ogilvy Cape Town Loses Its No 1 Man”

  1. Never a dull moment with you Victor…everyday you the same cheerful, vibrant, crazy and always a smile on your dial. Loved how you played your music on its loudest and we would do our dance session and jam to your reggae jams. Always giving compliments and cheering me up on my down days. I’m gonna miss all your crazy jokes and laughter.
    RIP my friend I know you shinning down on us from heaven.

  2. Chris Rawlinson: Digital Creatagist Chap @OgilvyCT

    I miss this fine gentleman every morning. He was a true legend, always had some fun banter, plus Vic had the added benefit of being a walking encyclopaedia, there was never a question unsolved (Even if the answers were sometimes questionable themselves).
    As I’m from England he often chatted to me about his daughter and how proud he was of her. In our last chat he was asking if I could take her a letter when I go home next month. I just wish I still could.
    RIP Vic, you’re sorely missed dear chap

  3. Vic was an amazing man. He injected energy, passion and love into Ogilvy. He inspired each person as they started and ended their day. He had the ability to read everyone.

    He helped me through bad days and celebrated good with me. I will remember and hold your positive attitude and your ‘morning songs’ with me always. Rest in peace and look over us from time to time. Please also remind me to pop into gym now and then 🙂 See you later alligator!

  4. Vic was the first person to call me Peddy since my primary school days. Vic was unique in his ability to connect with every single person that crossed his life. Go well my friend. I will miss our chats and the jokes we shared.

  5. “Pally, you want to work here? They work hard here! You sure? Okay, you can work here.”

    Victor, thank you for giving me my job. We will miss you, everyday.

  6. Vic, I will remember you not only for your enthusiasm and daily compliments, but for some of our deep and meaningful conversations over the last few years that really made sense to me, made me think, and showed me a side to you that quite frankly, really impressed me! You once lent me the book Soul Life by Rod Suskin. This book is described online as this: “Unloosening the knots that strangle our hearts takes discipline, consciousness and practice. With Soul Life, Rod Suskin lays out a practical programme for improving the spiritual aliveness of daily life.
    With mindfulness, the wisdom of the masters, and gradual changes to our daily lives including cleansing and meditation Soul Life is a recipe for infusing spirit into the everyday..” You definitely lived by this recipe, and taught me a thing or two about spirit. Thank you for that.

  7. The last time I saw Victor was on 06 June 2011. His words were: “Don’t stay away too long hey, cos Vic’s gonna miss you.”

    Now it is me who will miss you Vic. You always had a smile on my face and it was a pleasure to visit the Ogilvy offices.

  8. Huge pencils as a reception desk, the pneumonia smell from Art Director’s markers, yellow paper with a bumblebee on it and a loud, bright smile from you Victor.

    Thank you for being a part of so much


  9. Vic, you’ve taught me the lesson of compassion and patience in the most persevering way. Thank you for insistent positivity, kindness, and joy. Marley will never be heard without you popping into my heart. I miss you much.

  10. Vic, your smile, constant enthusiasm, vigor for life, gym advice, morning greeting, funky tunes and booming voice will be sorely missed by all at Ogilvy, and beyond. Rest peacefully. x

  11. I know we did not know each other very long but Vic you brightened everyone of my mornings here at Ogilvy Cape Town. We had a laugh or two on mornings i wasn’t feeling well as well as the news of the day. Thank you so much for making my move to Cape Town as a whole an easy transition.

    Rest in Peace Brother

  12. Victor was one guy who lived each day as if it were his last. Nothing short of a winner, he was true his name. R.I.P my friend!

  13. Victor, you had such a huge bubbly personality and made such a lasting impression on so many people – you will be missed – RIP Victor! :*(

  14. What sad news this is! Like everyone has said – you will be missed & certainly more so when entering & leaving Ogilvy’s offices. Rest in peace, mate.

  15. Your positivity and enthusiasm, endearing names you had for me every morning, and Michael Jackson beats, will be sorely missed. When I told you I was coming to Ogilvy London you believed in me. You knew I would come back, stronger and wiser. I was so looking forward to a hug in December on my visit – Im so sorry you wont be there. A living legend you were, Vic. And now, just a legend. The word does not even do you justice.
    Rest in peace.

  16. I will never forget my first interview at Ogilvy – I remember being blown away by the friendliness, charm and humour that Vic welcomed me with. I knew right then and there that Ogilvy was where I wanted to work and I will be eternally grateful to Vic for that special memory. Miss you Mister V! xxx

  17. Victor – Thank you for your amazing energy, positivity, wisdom , insight and way in which you could make me smile from deep inside. You always knew exactly when anyone needed that little “push”. You were the first person I “met” at Ogilvy, and the last person I waved goodbye to. The memories and conversations are endless. Thank you for so many laughs, smiles and lessons. Rest peacefully. Tracy

  18. To all the Ogilvy Family
    Charlene and I have just went through all the messages that were posted. Yes it will be with great sadness that we will lay my uncle to rest on the 25/07/11. From my family and myself I would like to say thank you for all the messages that were left about my AWESOME uncle. Yes, we were all blessed to have had him in our lives and it was awesome having the coolest uncle in the world. His family will miss him dearly but his daughter Charlene will not only miss her dad but her best friend too. I would like to thank the Ogilvy family for looking after my uncle and making him part of your family seeing that he spent more time with you all. My uncle would often tell us that he was the “boss” there and was always telling his nieces to bring our kids to his work so he could make them famous….. Yes we will miss him terribly but all the people that knew Uncle Victor are one up on those who never had the opportunity to meet him, we have a guardian angel. I could go on and on about my amazing uncle and it seems like I am not the only one who thinks he was amazing. I would like to thank Mr. Hill for assisting me when I phoned Ogilvy to find out about what had happend to my uncle. I would also like to thank Eastwood Loftus for all the support and assistance, we as the Jansen Family say THANK – YOU Eastwood. I would like to end off by saying my uncle loved all of you as much as you loved him. His legacy will live on through all of the people that took his advice (which was usually 99.9% correct). Uncle Vic we love you and we all will be eternally grateful for having you in our lives and allowing us to be part of your life.

  19. Vic called me his baby brother. Between Feb 1993 to April 2004 Vic was my guardian angel, life coach, best friend and big brother. I spoke to him on the phone just two months ago. I promised to visit. I feel kak for not making the time. I love you Vic. My life is all the more richer because of you. RIP

  20. Vic always told me on numerous occasions in that assured manner of his, “Matey, live each day of life to the full! ‘Cos you never know when you’re time is up.”

    I know of no-one who lived each day as fully as Victor Jansen. He will always be the epitome of optimism. I’m going to miss our chats Vic, but I will always remember you.

  21. Very sad to hear about Vic. Always knew where to get to the tastiest meal and made me try some new is interesting places. He also never forgot a face and will be a sad loss to the Ogilvy family.

  22. Its amazing that you hardly know a person but he can still be the light of your dying candle.I met Vic a few years ago when the Ogilvy office was still in Roeland Street and he never forgot my face. Each afternoon when i went to catch my bus we walked pass each other and not a day went by that he did not have anything good to say. Will miss him on my route.

  23. “From Adversity Comes Great Strength” – Vic you were a giant!
    Thank you for being so happy every single morning, sharing a joke, sharing the learnings from your extensive reading, always asking after my family, laughing so much, making people smile, being so proud of Ogilvy, making strangers feel welcome, never forgetting a face. We’ll miss the music, the hats, the ties, everything about you.
    Don’t worry – be happy – up there!

  24. It felt like yesterday that I rocked up at your big yellow gate and small yellow guard house, asking for directions to the reception. 13 years ago. You were my welcome to Cape Town and when I left, you were my goodbye. Throughout my years at Ogilvy, you were an amazing friend Vic. You were there through good times, great times and dark times. No matter what was happening in your life, you always had a warm, deafening ‘hoe lyk dit my bra!’ I will never forget you Victor. Charlene, my heart goes out to you and your family. You were, and still are the apple of his eye.
    RIP my friend.

  25. Victor
    We parted in the late 1990’s, but not as bad friends. You always hugged and smiled and kissed me, whenever we met. I still can’t believe you’re gone.
    Condolences to Charlene and the family.
    Fondly remembered by Sharon & Megan De Lilley

  26. Victor
    We parted in the late 1990′s, but not as bad friends. You always hugged and smiled and kissed me, whenever we met. I still can’t believe you’re gone.
    Condolences to Charlene and the family.
    Fondly remembered by Sharon & Megan De Lilley

  27. (Pops) What a great loss he was a very life loving guy we had good and bad times as a brother inlaw he will be missed
    From Yollanda & Donovan Shaw

  28. Can’t believe you gone Victor its still so hard to believe. Always enjoyed our chats, the advice and not forgetting your jokes. You were always there to protect us when we use to walk in the evening to Town. RIP Victor xxx

  29. Hi there

    just wana say that we are gana miss u…
    hope they hve ur tipe of music in heaven nd that u will make them laught just as much as u made us laught… oja and francious says he wants ur hat… hehehe… we will always love nd miss u sooooo much… enjoy life up there see u soon… mwa

  30. Victor will always be remembered as a man who had great morals and would never turn his back on anyone. He would go out of his way to help others. He had the best laugh I have ever heard.
    You wil be missed by all that knew you.
    R I P my pal.

  31. I’m ur baby sister nd as youngsters we did everything 2getha. U were always looking out 4 me, as we got older we neva saw 1anotha as much as we shud have, my regret :(. U might b gone but u will live 4eva in my heart. I love u so much. U will always b remembered cos there will always b sumthing 2 remind me of u. R I P my brother.

  32. My dearest uncle Vic, as I write this teary eyed I feel a calmness fall over me knowing that you are are not to far from us. Unseen by our eyes but in full sight of our hearts. That’s where u will be forever. Memories tracing back to wen gran used to take me to visit u at work and you wud give me the biggest, longest & tightest bear hug. I’m so blessed to have been given those precious moments with u. This poem reminds me of u uncle Vic xxx **You can shed tears that he is gone,
    Or you can smile because he lived,
    You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
    Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
    Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
    You can remember him and only that he is gone
    Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
    You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
    Or you can do what he would want: SMILE, OPEN YOUR EYES, LOVE and GO ON.
    RIP uncle Victor till we meet again xxx

  33. What an amazing man, with an unending energy. Victor is someone I will never forget- and his amazing enthusiasm, chats first thing, being welcomed back when coming for a visit after I had left Ogilvy. Victor will be sorely missed. My love to everyone at Ogilvy and to all the friends and family. Gone but never forgotten.

    1. Can’t believe it’s already 8 months that Uncle Victor passed away. I think of him everyday and miss his laugh and jokes. His place will never be filled.

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