But Powell could just as well be talking about several other leaps forward.
For a start, the healthy level of entries from international agencies is establishing D&AD on the global advertising stage, swelling the organisation's coffers after last year's dismal financial performance.
More importantly, this year's awards take a broader view of communications, with new categories covering interactive TV and viral advertising and advertising in console games. Yes, this too has a nice financial rub-off.
But such developments are crucial if D&AD is to remain relevant to the changing marketing landscape.
Under Michael Hockney, D&AD is inching away from being an elitist club - a fact underlined by the decision to extend the membership criteria.
The challenge now is to maintain the modernising momentum without losing its special status.