IPA Awards: Effectiveness - Company of the Year: Mediaedge:cia

Sponsored by Thinkbox

Founded: 2002
Global staff: 4,300
Global billings: £16.1 billion
Key personnel:
- Tom George, Chief executive
- Stuart Sullivan-Martin, Chief strategy officer
- Steve Hatch, Managing director

Running off with the IPA Effectiveness crown is a rare feat for a media agency; indeed, this is the first time. But then Mediaedge:cia is used to defying expectations.

The agency, which has also scooped the Grand Prix, the Best Integration and a gold award for its Morrisons "Let's Grow" campaign, has undergone a transformation in recent years.

MEC has had three years of consecutive growth since Tom George took the helm in 2006, success that's been crowned by the recent win of the £80 million Lloyds TSB account - its biggest yet. No matter how big it grows, though, the agency is determined to retain the mid-sized company culture that has served it so well.

The agency convinced Morrisons, which has historically refused to use coupons, to introduce a voucher scheme encouraging schoolchildren to grow their own food. Parents shopping in Morrisons can pick up "Let's Grow" vouchers for their kids, which, in turn, can be redeemed for gardening equipment and seeds.

In its first year, 85 per cent of primary schools registered, 39 million vouchers were redeemed and the "Let's Grow" campaign delivered a payback of £21.57 for every £1 invested. Thus proving the simplest ideas work best.

The award is further testament to MEC's ingenuity and dedication to achieving value for money for its clients.