Campaign Digital Awards 2005: Welcome to the inaugural Campaign Digital Awards

This first Campaign awards to celebrate all that is good within digital takes in the breadth of the best work from the past 18 months, and it was a great honour to be asked to be the chairman of this inaugural bash.

More than ten years since the first online ads appeared, we find a rapidly maturing industry, more confident in its own abilities yet still with the memories of boom and bust fresh in its mind. This, I believe, is a fitting time to begin to recognise the wealth of creativity and talent focused upon the digital advertising sector. As more and more expertise is drawn into the industry by the promise of interactivity, the first stirrings of some really great work can begin to be seen.

It could be argued that the digital sector has more than its fair share of awards shows. However, few have successfully combined the recognition of creative excellence with the outright success of effectiveness - it was the job of this first jury to correct this imbalance.

It is always a tricky job to define exactly what "effective" actually means and digital as a whole has often been guilty of over-promising on its claims of being the most measurable medium. Rather, what we asked the jury to look for was a strong idea, well-executed, with a clear sense of purpose, passion and resonance. The raw results, which accompanied each piece, should be the appropriate confirmation of a job well done.

Crucial to the ongoing success of these awards is that the work should be judged against the creative standards of our traditional compatriots.

This means setting the bar for our own work extremely high, but it will mean, in the long run, that we strive to create work of unrivalled quality.

I heard a great quote, attributed to William Gibson, that said: "The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed." So, with that in mind, I would hope that this first year of the Campaign Digital Awards is able to celebrate a few excellent examples of work that point towards the even greater work to come in the future.

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