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Top Billing meets author and advertising star Pepe Marais

Top Billing enjoys a riverside retreat with advertisising trail blazer Pepe Marais

Top Billing Pepe Marais

Having a retreat on the Vaal River makes any weekend a family holiday for Pepe Marais - the co-founder of influential brand and communications agency Joe Public.

The firm has won countless industry awards and Pepe has been a judge at Festivals from Cannes to New York, but his happy place is barefoot in his stunning river house with his family.

Top Billing Pepe Marais

It’s a house that enterprise built, starting with Pepe delivering newspapers as a boy, at the age of 12. Today it’s filled with beautiful memories of his life and his travels, including his special Gibson guitars.

Pepe’s love for the instrument came from a hard time, when his high school girlfriend left him for another boy who played guitar.

 He promptly picked it up too, resulting in their reunion, a very happy marriage, and a 16 year love of playing music.
Today, Heidi Marais simply says she and her partner of over 30 years are soulmates who were lucky to meet at a young age, and their greatest pride is their 10 year old son called Jasper, who shares their passion for life.Especially at the river house where they enjoy tubing, skiing and skurfing - surfing on the boat’s wake.

Top Billing Pepe Marais

Pepe launched his company with his partner, Gareth Leck, after just six years in advertising, and Heidi modestly calls herself a ‘Jill of All Trades’ as a teacher, health coach and goldsmith among other things.

Their immense professional success is a result of hard work over many years, but Pepe didn’t know he’d be getting into advertising until the day he finished military service and met a graphic artist at an air force base in Rundu, Namibia.

Top Billing Pepe Marais

It ignited his love for art, a wave which he rode back home to then study art, finish top of his class and discover advertising. Today he has a new book ‘Growing Greatness’, which is a recipe book for life, and is as surprising as it is inspiring, with very personal accounts from his story of success.

Pepe’s hopes for our country are the opening words of his book: ‘Though you can easily count the seeds in an apple; it’s impossible to count the apples in a seed.’


Joe Public United

T:  +27 (0)10 591 7770



Growing Greatness


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