The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has radically
revamped its Advertising Effectiveness Awards in response to accusations
that they have become outdated and out of touch.
All the categories are being scrapped along with the gold, silver and
bronze awards, which will give way to a more flexible ’star’ system.
At the same time, a totally overhauled judging system will take into
account not only an award contender’s effect on sales and consumer
demand, but less easily measurable outcomes such as impact on staff
morale within the client company.
The shake-up is designed to quell disquiet about one of the industry’s
most prestigious competitions, which came to a head last year with the
award of the grand prix to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for its BT work.
Critics argued that advertising backed by such huge budgets was bound to
Earlier this year, Winston Fletcher, a former IPA president, fuelled the
controversy in a speech to an IPA conference in which he claimed that
the awards - first staged in 1980 - perpetuated the myth that
advertising was a win-or-lose process, similar to gambling (Campaign, 21
The IPA claims the changes, which will apply to next year’s competition,
will ensure wider interest and acceptance of the results, particularly
among clients, who are being urged to become more actively involved.
The aim is reflected in a judging system where a group of specialists
will filter all entries before passing potential winners to a panel of
senior clients. They will include not just marketing directors but
company chairmen and managing directors as well as personnel and finance
Marilyn Baxter, the chairman of the IPA Advertising Effectiveness
Committee, said: ’The awards should be a celebration of how valuable
advertising is as a business tool, not just a competition by which the
industry gives awards to a few planners.’
Entrants will be asked how they think a campaign’s effectiveness beyond
its effects on sales should be judged.