CAMPAIGN MEDIA AWARDS 2003: Don't be seduced by whistles and bells

Welcome to the Campaign Media Awards 2003. These may be tough times but the passion and pride of media professionals came through in both the agency and media owner entrants.

So what can we learn from the winners? First, that the boundaries of what we call "media" and "advertising" are ever-changing. In a burgeoning environment, most winners showed that extra ability to touch the consumer with their brands.

However, for all this imagination there is a danger the industry is becoming overexcited by "balloons, whistles and bells" and not pushing to identify the value of core strategic media behaviour.

Nowhere is this more evidenced than by the scarcity of TV case work. Television continues to consume more media time and brand budgets than any other medium. Yet identification of television's role on the media landscape is largely missing from our agency winners. It's also a sad indictment that no terrestrial TV sales operation was compelled to state their case.

It is in this absence of television that so many of the problems that face the industry lie. Namely, if we can't articulate the contribution of the larger elements of the communication mix, we will perpetuate the commoditisation of service provision we often find ourselves in. We may wake up one day to find that those "balloons" we currently find so exciting may have been full of ephemeral hot air.

There is much to celebrate in this year's winning work, but we really should try harder on the tougher, bigger issues.

Congratulations to all the entrants for making this year's awards so competitive, and well done to all of those going home with a "gong". They are all well deserved.


Matt James - Managing director, Mediaedge:cia

George Michaelides - Managing partner, Michaelides & Bednash

Nick Manning - Chief executive, Manning Gottlieb OMD

Linda Grant - Managing director commercial, London Capital Radio Group

Tony Regan - Director, Brand Performance

Mark Cranmer (chairman of the judges) - Chief executive, Europe, Middle

East, Africa, Starcom MediaVest Group

Nick Lawson - Managing director, MediaCom

Louise Jones - Executive strategy director, PHD

Seb Bishop - Director, Espotting Media

Fru Hazlitt - Managing director, Yahoo! UK and Ireland

Kevin Brown - Strategic partner, Soul

Mark Palmer - Managing partner, OMD

Chris Shaw - Chairman, Universal McCann UK

John Harlow - Partner, Naked Communications


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