INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC; Recognition by D&AD gives our new media global opportunities

At last the multimedia industry is to be recognised with its own category at the UK’s premier awards ceremony. At D&AD this year, the new Interactive Media category will contain three sub-categories in which silver pencils may be won. The judging will be divided according to medium - one set of jurors for ‘media-based’ entries (anything on CD-Rom or floppy disk), one for kiosk-based entries and one for Internet sites.

At last the multimedia industry is to be recognised with its own

category at the UK’s premier awards ceremony. At D&AD this year, the new

Interactive Media category will contain three sub-categories in which

silver pencils may be won. The judging will be divided according to

medium - one set of jurors for ‘media-based’ entries (anything on CD-Rom

or floppy disk), one for kiosk-based entries and one for Internet sites.



There will even be a CD-Rom version of the D&AD annual, a series of

interactive kiosks at the week-long Festival of Design and Advertising

at the Royal College of Art in November and a D&AD Website.



My oh my! Has D&AD gone interactive crazy? This is not the usual

evolutionary tack that we expect from advertising’s powers that be. This

is not the trickle-down, scraps-at-the-table, tokenistic approach of

which we were all set to accuse D&AD. It is no less than full-blooded

revolution.



Should we be suspicious? This is, after all, the body which last year

refused to accept Ogilvy and Mather’s Guinness screensaver as an entry

because it wasn’t an ad. Later, it transpired, the necessary equipment

to view the screensaver was not available to the judges.



But no. There are no hidden agendas or tricks with mirrors. It seems the

change in attitude is genuine.



Part of the reason for this transformation is the sponsorship deal with

Apple that is funding the new-media initiatives. But much of the credit

for this happy state of affairs must go to those members of D&AD who

argued the case for recognition.



The industry should thank Richard Mellor, creative director of

Hyperinteractive, and those who elected him on to D&AD’s executive

committee. The best response would be a glut of high-quality British

entries.



D&AD recognition could be the making of British new media. This

country’s advertising is widely regarded as the best in the world,

partly because awards such as D&AD communicate its excellence to the

rest of the world. Our new-media industry now has the chance to follow

in advertising’s footsteps.



As Mellor says: ‘D&AD has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s up to the

industry to respond.’



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