It's almost impossible to overstate the consideration and debate that goes in to anointing our industry's annual best in class. Over the years, the accolades have come to represent an invaluable stamp of excellence, a roll-call of the most creative, strategic, effective and compelling companies in the advertising, media and marketing industries.
So naturally we proceed with absolute care and caution. Campaign may pride itself on its ballsy opinions, but never is it more crucial to back these up with rigorous facts and insight than in this particular issue of the magazine.
With 11 categories now to consider, it is a hefty task and consumes the Campaign staff for much of the final quarter of the year. In striving to embrace the broad sweep of the communications process we've been adding new categories over the years (see table above) and, despite the talk of integration that has characterised 2005, it's not hard to imagine that new categories will be added in the future. To debate all these categories gives a fascinating insight into the state of the industry and its leading exponents, though it is a mammoth task.
Of course, the race to win really kicks off from the beginning of the new year but reaches a fever pitch with weeks of argument, debate, pitch and counter-pitch by a democratic panel of Campaign's editorial staff.
Not everyone will agree with our decisions, of course, but all were taken with the express aim of championing excellence across our industry. This year's winners should be rightly proud to be the best in their class.
By determining on three shortlisted contenders for each category this year, the judging process was doubly strenuous. For some awards, even getting down to a list of three candidates was incredibly difficult and there are plenty of companies who deserve recognition for their achievements in 2005 whose names are absent from this particular roll-call. Even so, some categories - as you might imagine - were harder to judge than others.
Despite two hugely worthy contenders (WCRS and Clemmow Hornby Inge), the Agency of the Year award was one of the easier to apportion: Bartle Bogle Hegarty's case was unquestionable (although it's never comfortable to award the same agency three years in a row). There will be few in the industry who do not agree that BBH has turned in a superlative performance again this year. For Campaign of the Year, though, deciding between the work for Stella Artois, 3 and Marks & Spencer proved a really difficult challenge, with compelling arguments on all sides.
And when it came to the Creative Network of the Year award, judging between BBH's hugely successful micro-network model and at the other end of the scale the mighty creative networks with their geographical spread was the proverbial chalk and cheese debate. Likewise, comparing the digital media agency i-level with traditional media agencies such as PHD and ZenithOptimedia sparked agonising debate.
The ultimate take-out of all these ruminations was a conclusion that the industry itself has more than a fair share of agenda-setting companies, benchmarking excellence. There's no doubt that 2005 was not an easy year for anyone operating in the communications business, with recovery stilted and many clients still juggling the demands of cost-conscious procurement departments and the ever-increasing drive for proven effectiveness. Against this backdrop, there is so much to be proud of and the following 11 winners deserve all the credit they get.
CAMPAIGN AGENCY OF THE YEAR 1980 - 2005 YEAR AGENCY MEDIA ADVERTISER CAMPAIGN AGENCY 1980 TBWA - - - 1981 GGT - - - 1982 Saatchi & Saatchi - J. Sainsbury - 1983 BMP - Philips - 1984 JWT - GLC - 1985 Lowe Howard- Spink - Guinness - 1986 BBH - Allied Lyons - 1987 DMB&B - Brooke Bond Midland Bank Oxo (Vector) 1988 No winner - Beecham BT (Beattie) 1989 HHCL - Tesco Billy Graham (FCB) 1990 BMP - Fuji Met Police 1991 JWT - British Airways J. Sainsbury 1992 BMP - Unilever Tango 1993 BBH - Woolworths Boddingtons 1994 HHCL - Tesco Wonderbra 1995 AMV BBDO - Daewoo Miller Pilsner 1996 AMV BBDO TMD Carat Orange Conservative Party 1997 St Luke's Michaelides Volkswagen VW & Bednash (Affordability) 1998 BMP DDB New PHD McDonald's VW Polo 1999 M&C Saatchi MediaCom TMB French Connection Levi's Sta-Prest 2000 Lowe Lintas BBJ Heinz Skoda 2001 Mother Starcom Motive COI Comms ITV Digital 2002 Mother Naked Scottish Courage John Smith's 2003 BBH MindShare Honda 118 118 2004 BBH MindShare Tesco Honda 2005 BBH PHD Channel 4 Stella Artois YEAR AGENCY MEDIUM DIRECT DIGITAL AGENCY AGENCY 1980 TBWA - - - 1981 GGT Daily Mirror - - 1982 Saatchi & Saatchi The Guardian - - 1983 BMP Channel 4 - - 1984 JWT The Mail on Sunday - - 1985 Lowe Howard- Spink Eddie Shah* - - 1986 BBH The Independent - - 1987 DMB&B Prima - - 1988 No winner Today - - 1989 HHCL Viz - - 1990 BMP No winner - - 1991 JWT Radio Times - - 1992 BMP The Guardian - - 1993 BBH Channel 4 - - 1994 HHCL Classic FM - - 1995 AMV BBDO Daily Mail - - 1996 AMV BBDO Sky Television - - 1997 St Luke's FHM - - 1998 BMP DDB Daily Mail Evans Hunt Scott - 1999 M&C Saatchi Freeserve FCA! - 2000 Lowe Lintas Metro WWAV Rapp Collins i-level 2001 Mother Glamour Craik Jones No winner 2002 Mother five HTW glue London 2003 BBH Sky Television Craik Jones Dare 2004 BBH The Independent Claydon Heeley Dare 2005 BBH Channel 4 Rapier Dare YEAR AGENCY PRODUCTION CREATIVE MEDIA INTL COMPANY NETWORK NETWORK ADVERTISER 1980 TBWA - - - - 1981 GGT - - - - 1982 Saatchi & Saatchi - - - - 1983 BMP - - - - 1984 JWT - - - - 1985 Lowe Howard- Spink - - - - 1986 BBH - - - - 1987 DMB&B - - - - 1988 No winner - - - - 1989 HHCL - - - - 1990 BMP - - - - 1991 JWT - - - - 1992 BMP - - - - 1993 BBH - - - - 1994 HHCL Arden Sutherland-Dodd - - - 1995 AMV BBDO Paul Weiland Films - - - 1996 AMV BBDO Blink - - - 1997 St Luke's Godman - - - 1998 BMP DDB Academy - - - 1999 M&C Saatchi Gorgeous - - - 2000 Lowe Lintas Partizan - - - 2001 Mother Gorgeous - - - 2002 Mother Gorgeous - - - 2003 BBH Partizan - - - 2004 BBH Gorgeous BBH MindShare HP 2005 BBH Stink BBDO OMD Dove *Media Man of the Year.