I must confess that when it comes to advertising awards I am biased. The British Television Awards are my favourite.

I must confess that when it comes to advertising awards I am

biased. The British Television Awards are my favourite.

First, because the jury is a very broad (but very wise) church. Clients,

agency people and production company people sit in equal number. This

year, to reflect the times we live in, we added a juror from the media

world and a dotcom guru.

Second, all you see is British work. I’m aware this might make me sound

like a ’little Englander’, but that’s not the point. The work is

British, and it’s judged by a British jury. Which means there’s every

chance they’ll have some idea of how well it played outside the hothouse

environment of the judging theatre. And that is a good thing.

Third, I like the BTAA because the overall standard of entries is so

high. These days no one parts company with the entry fee unless they

think they’re in with a shout. Consequently the shortlisting is a

genuinely enjoyable process. There are many pearls and really very few


Finally, I like the BTAA because it runs so smoothly. The entries are

incredibly well organised. The judging is simple and fair. Lunch is

always excellent. Peter Bigg and his team deserve a gold.

So is the 25th year of the BTAA a ’bumper year’? I think so. Since we

judged, I’ve had the amazing privilege of meeting up with almost all 25

chairmen of the previous years. We reviewed the golds and silvers all

the way back to 1976. The winners this year make a handsome bunch by

anyone’s standards.

Admittedly there are weak points and weak categories. The campaigns

category did not set the world on fire. Nor did cinema. Whatever

happened to ’domestic appliances’?

And although the golds are of a fantastically high standard, their style

and structure seems quite conservative. No real breakthroughs in the

fundamental way we use the medium. And I don’t think we’ve quite got the

hang of dotcoms yet.

However, with my little Englander hat on, I can confidently report that

the British advertising industry is probably still the best in the

world. This year’s winners prove it.

Let’s not rest on our laurels. But let’s celebrate tonight.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).