IPA rethinks Effectiveness Awards

The IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards Committee is rethinking the future of the awards as entries decline and the competition is shunned by many of Britain's top agencies.

The IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards Committee is rethinking the future of the awards as entries decline and the competition is shunned by many of Britain's top agencies.

As this year's prizegiving ended at London's Hilton Hotel on Tuesday evening, the competition's organisers were beginning a consultation process.

A verdict will be presented to IPA council members in the spring.

Among the ideas likely to be discussed are whether the awards should take place annually instead of every two years to make them more attractive to sponsors; changing the entry criteria; merging it with the Account Planning Group awards, or scrapping the competition completely.

Despite a huge PR exercise intended to boost this year's number of entries to 70, only 52 were submitted - two fewer than in 1998. Only half of the top 20 agencies participated.

The amount of time needed to prepare 4,000-word case studies, having to take planners off new-business activity and the growing number of less demanding 'effectiveness' competitions are cited by agencies as reasons for ignoring the IPA awards.

A key question organisers say they must consider is whether the awards, set up 20 years ago in an attempt to overcome client scepticism about above-the-line advertising, have proved their case and whether greater emphasis should now be given to integrated communications.

Lowe Lintas won the grand prix for its Tesco campaign, while BMP was named Effectiveness Agency of the Year for agencies billing more than pounds 100 million.

The equivalent award for agencies with billings below pounds 100 million went to Manchester's BDH TBWA.

- IPA Awards supplement.



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