Top Performers of 2004: Introduction - Claire Beale explains the long judging process behind Campaign's

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 10 December 2004 12:00AM

Agency of the Year awards and why this year was particularly challenging for the panel of judges.

There are few issues of Campaign that generate as much debate as this one, enshrining a new batch of companies as best in class. It's certainly one of the issues that we feel most proud to produce because it celebrates all that is excellent in our business. Over the next few pages you will read about the most compelling, creative, erudite and successful companies in the advertising, media and marketing industries.

It's 25 years since Campaign first launched its Agency of the Year awards and over the past two-and-a-half decades, our list of categories has grown to reflect the changing nature of the business. Media owners and advertisers were recognised pretty early on. But production companies did not get their share of the spotlight until 1994, while media agencies and direct marketing companies had to wait until the late 90s.

Today, though, our accolades reflect the true breadth of Campaign's scope and of the industry's growth and development. So this year we have even more to celebrate; we've introduced three new categories recognising international success. In many ways, these new awards have been the hardest of all to judge, demanding that we take an in-depth view from a global perspective; debate was particularly furious in the creative category where we were comparing the micro-network Bartle Bogle Hegarty with the global powerhouse that is J. Walter Thompson.

Choosing between such different propositions is challenging, but something we're increasingly used to when it comes to the UK awards. MindShare's triumph in Unilever's European media review and at the Campaign Media Awards gave it a clear nose ahead of the brilliant MediaCom for Media Agency of the Year. But in the creative category, deliberations over the merits of the three-year-old Clemmow Hornby Inge against the supreme maturity of BBH split the panel once again. In the end, BBH's case was strong enough to win through and there will be few in the industry who do not agree that the agency and its work were once again superlative.

The truth is that such debate simply highlights the rich variety and broad ambit within the different categories. Despite the internationalisation and consolidation of the business, the real success stories still come from across the spectrum; size and scale are no barriers to creative excellence, nor are they prerequisites for success.

But Campaign's choices have always generated a healthy mixture of applause, debate, celebration and disappointment. And this year is unlikely to be any different, once the industry has digested the contents of the following pages. So it's worth underlining the long and considered deliberation that precedes our resolutions. First, our criteria for success. New business plays a key part, of course. But high creative standards - across all categories - must be a given, along with a definite and positive culture, stable but dynamic management, strong financial foundations and leadership in the industry's innovations and developments.

A democratic panel of Campaign's editorial staff then makes in-depth presentations on, and weighs the cases for, the shortlisted candidates.

After weeks of argument and debate our winners finally emerge. It is very subjective, of course, but our decisions were honestly made and our aim of championing excellence was maintained throughout. Even so, you might not agree with all of our choices. In fact, if the past 24 years are anything to go by, you almost certainly will not.

CAMPAIGN AGENCY OF THE YEAR 1980 - 2004

Year Agency Media Advertiser Campaign

Agency

1980 TBWA - - -

1981 GGT - - -

1982 Saatchi &

Saatchi - J. Sainsbury -

1983 BMP - Philips -

1984 JWT - GLC -

1985 Lowe Howard-

Spink - Guinness -

1986 BBH - Allied Lyons -

1987 DMB&B - Brooke Bond

Oxo Midland Bank

(Vector)

1988 No winner - Beecham BT (Beattie)

1989 HHCL - Tesco Billy Graham

(FCB)

1990 BMP - Fuji Met Police

1991 JWT - British

Airways J. Sainsbury

1992 BMP - Unilever Tango

1993 BBH - Woolworths Boddingtons

1994 HHCL - Tesco Wonderbra

1995 AMV BBDO - Daewoo Miller Pilsner

1996 AMV BBDO TMD Carat Orange Conservative

Party

1997 St Luke's Michaelides

& Bednash Volkswagen VW (Afford-

ability)

1998 BMP DDB New PHD McDonald's VW Polo

1999 M&C Saatchi MediaCom TMB French

Connection Levi's

Sta-Prest

2000 Lowe Lintas BBJ Heinz Skoda

2001 Mother Starcom

Motive COI Comms ITV Digital

2002 Mother Naked Scottish

Courage John Smith's five

2003 BBH MindShare Honda 118 118

2004 BBH MindShare Tesco Honda

Year Agency Medium Direct Digital

Agency Agency

1980 TBWA - - -

1981 GGT Daily Mirror - -

1982 Saatchi &

Saatchi The Guardian - -

1983 BMP Channel 4 - -

1984 JWT The Mail on

Sunday - -

1985 Lowe Howard-

Spink Eddie Shah* - -

1986 BBH The Independent - -

1987 DMB&B Prima - -

1988 No winner Today - -

1989 HHCL Viz - -

1990 BMP No winner - -

1991 JWT Radio Times - -

1992 BMP The Guardian - -

1993 BBH Channel 4 - -

1994 HHCL Classic FM - -

1995 AMV BBDO Daily Mail - -

1996 AMV BBDO Sky Television - -

1997 St Luke's FHM - -

1998 BMP DDB Daily Mail Evans Hunt

Scott -

1999 M&C Saatchi Freeserve FCA! -

2000 Lowe Lintas Metro WWAV Rapp

Collins i-level

2001 Mother Glamour Craik Jones No winner

2002 Mother HTW glue London Gorgeous

2003 BBH Sky Television Craik Jones Dare

2004 BBH The Independent Claydon

Heeley Dare

Year Agency Production Intl Intl Intl

Company Creative Media Advertiser

Network Network

1980 TBWA - - - -

1981 GGT - - - -

1982 Saatchi &

Saatchi - - - -

1983 BMP - - - -

1984 JWT

- - - -

1985 Lowe Howard-

Spink - - - -

1986 BBH - - - -

1987 DMB&B - - - -

1988 No winner - - - -

1989 HHCL - - - -

1990 BMP - - - -

1991 JWT - - - -

1992 BMP - - - -

1993 BBH - - - -

1994 HHCL Arden

Sutherland-Dodd - - -

1995 AMV BBDO Paul Weiland

Films - - -

1996 AMV BBDO Blink - - -

1997 St Luke's Godman - - -

1998 BMP DDB Academy - - -

1999 M&C Saatchi Gorgeous - - -

2000 Lowe Lintas Partizan - - -

2001 Mother Gorgeous - - -

2002 Mother - - -

2003 BBH Partizan - - -

2004 BBH Gorgeous BBH Mind

Share HP

*Media Man of the Year.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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