Campaign Media Awards 2009: Necessity proves itself the mother of creative invention

New Year's Eve last year was an interesting time for me. I remember feeling, as the clock struck midnight, a mixture of emotions. On the one hand, and given the economic backdrop, I'll admit to some anxiety, but on the other, I also felt excited, since crises provide us with the chance to choose between inertia and innovation. Think Apple. Think John Galliano. Think the birth of the Soap Opera.

So, given this context, has our industry delivered great innovations in 2009? The Campaign Media Awards are a great barometer of our industry's state of "innovation health" and having read the shortlisted papers, I'm delighted to report that in this current recession, history is indeed repeating itself.

The Walkers "do us a flavour" campaign is among the most innovative work our industry has ever produced. But innovation didn't stop with Walkers. Great innovation and thinking were on display across all categories, leading to many a rigorous judges' debate as the standard of shortlisted papers was so very high.

However, there were some areas of disappointment for me. We saw little evidence of genuine collaboration with other marketing services agencies going on. Second, not enough big-spending papers had been entered. The problem with media awards is that sometimes it's the one-off stunts on a budget of £30,000 that win, which, in an industry that spends nearly £14 billion of clients' money annually, doesn't really seem representative of the work going on. Finally, I still felt that some of the digital thinking was not as good as it should have been.

And while these awards are about great thinking and ideas, I want to mention a group of experts who, in my opinion, are the unsung heroes of 2009 - buyers. While I can't comment on the delivery of all agencies, I can honestly say that the buyers I have the good fortune to work with have performed above and beyond the call of duty. So, thank you.

Have a great Christmas, one and all. And just remember to keep on practising extraordinary thinking in these extraordinary times.

- Philippa Brown, chief executive, Omnicom Media Group UK (chairman of the judges)

THE JUDGES (Product Sector Categories)

- Paul Evans, Head of media, Xbox EMEA

- Abba Newbery, Creative solutions director, News International

- Stephen Haines, UK commercial director, Facebook

- Stuart Sullivan-Martin, Chief strategy officer, Mediaedge:cia

- Kim Douglas, Chief strategic officer, Mindshare

- Matthew Hook, Head of strategy, Vizeum

- Toby Roberts, Head of strategy, OMD UK

- Alison Wright, Strategy director, Engine

- Ian Armstrong, Manager - customer communications, Honda (UK)

- Mark Sherwood, Global head of communications planning, Lowe Worldwide

- Robert Ray, Marketing director, The Newspaper Society

- David Grainger, Business director, ZenithOptimedia

- David Pemsel, Marketing director, ITV

- Greg Grimmer, Partner, Hurrell Moseley Dawson & Grimmer

- Philippa Brown, Chief executive, Omnicom Media Group UK, (chairman of the judges)

- Stephen Farquhar, Head of strategy, ZenithOptimedia

THE JUDGES (Media Owner Categories)

- Pete Robins, Founder, Agenda21

- Jane Geraghty, Managing director, Naked Communications

- Phil Nunn, Communications planning director, Tequila

- David Wilding, Planning director, PHD

- Russell Place, Chief strategy officer, Universal McCann

- Robert Horler, Managing director, Carat

- Chris Locke, Head of trading, VivaKi

- Paul Frampton, Managing director, MPG

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