Campaign Media Awards 2005: Radio Sales Team of the Year - Emap Advertising

It has been a tough year for radio, but Emap Advertising has bucked the trend of a lethargic industry with a little help from its energetic salesforce and an army of vibrant brands such as Kiss, Magic and Kerrang!.

In a sector that is perceived as being in a downturn, the team's irrepressible cheer has contributed to an 8 per cent growth in radio advertising.

While GCap was getting its house in order following the merger of GWR and Capital Radio (year-on-year revenues fell 14 per cent that month), Emap took advantage of its competitor's woes. In June, GCap's creation was followed by Emap's successful £391 million takeover of Scottish Radio Holdings and its network of 22 stations.

The radio group saw the SRH takeover accelerate growth of its digital brands and local brands such as Radio Clyde and Radio Forth become part of Emap's big city network, enabling it to better compete with GCap, which is the market leader in the radio sector.

Emap achieved financial savings by merging the SRH sales team with Emap Advertising's London-based sales team, making it easier for advertisers to buy the former SRH brands and Emap's digital brands.

The team then embarked on driving the radio market. Emap kicked off by committing a six-figure sum to funding research that reminded agencies and clients of the effectiveness of radio advertising. The team hosted a seminar attended by 80 clients called "What radio did next", in order to demonstrate the new world of digital radio and the continuing effectiveness of the medium.

Then there was Emap's relationship with Eardrum. The two companies jumped into bed together to bring advertisers to the medium who were struggling to convert their brand to a sound-only environment.

With the rapid expansion of digital radio, the team offered new brands to advertisers. Bringing brands to life, Vodafone Q Fest was a weekend-long festival on Q Radio. It featured "never heard on radio" tracks from world-famous artists playing on a "virtual stage". The festival showcased Vodafone's commitment to live music, while the "3 Download Chart" used Kiss to promote what 3 offers to subscribers in terms of downloadable content.

Emap Advertising and lastminute.com agreed a six-month campaign across Emap's Freeview digital radio portfolio. The campaign, involving stations such as Heat, The Hits and Kiss, showcased lastminute.com offers. Thorpe Park also signed a six-figure deal with Emap, which saw the theme-park sponsor the drivetime radio show on Kiss.

Emap has outperformed the UK's radio ad market by 12 per cent and, in 2005, it has left its rivals, GCap and Chrysalis, trailing in its wake in terms of revenue.

FINALIST: Classic FM.

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