Campaign Media Awards 2006: Print Sales Team of the Year - Grazia, Emap

Emap launched Grazia with the lofty ambition of creating an entirely new genre in the UK women's magazine market: the glossy weekly.

The challenge for the Grazia advertising team was to position the magazine as the hottest book in the market with premium pricing. The product was designed to appeal to a hard-to-reach target audience of upscale, modern ABC1 women, who were becoming disillusioned with monthly glossies and didn't want to wait a whole month for their fix of news and style.

Grazia's success depended on convincing premium fashion and beauty advertisers to use the weekly format for the first time.

At launch, the Grazia team was armed with little more than a belief in the product and a determination to prove the doubters wrong, but they faced an uphill battle, especially since the monthly magazine market was dominated by short-term deals.

Critics were keen to write it off as just another weekly, yet Grazia was going into battle with a cost-per-thousand that was double that of traditional weeklies and higher than every glossy magazine apart from Vogue, Tatler and Harper's Bazaar.

It was incredibly tough, but the Grazia team members kept their nerve and got down to work, with more than 4,500 client and agency meetings, as well as back-to-back foreign trips to woo the all-important fashion clients.

Grazia used the findings from focus groups and surveys to create bespoke pitches in the months before the magazine's first official circulation figures, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the readers, and helping advertisers get closer to their target audience.

It was this persistence that achieved a breakthrough, with the title bringing in more ad revenue in its launch year than Conde Nast Traveller, Vanity Fair, Tatler, Red and InStyle.

Grazia has managed to deliver premium fashion and beauty clients, including Prada, Armani, Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel, with Estee Lauder and LVMH two of the magazine's top advertisers.

The team produced innovative media solutions for O2, Dorothy Perkins, Clinique, Estee Lauder and Bicester Village and transformed the market by stealing business, such as YSL Beaute and Clarins, from monthlies, weeklies and supplements.

Grazia held firm on its premium pricing and still developed some of the strongest client and agency relationships in the business.

Kim Iwancysyn, an associate director at MediaCom, says: "Perhaps it's because they remember how hard it was in the beginning that they are not more arrogant in their approach now that the title is more established. It's refreshing to deal with sales people who genuinely love the magazine they work on."

Finalists: Telegraph Media Group, The Guardian.