Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The most prized award in the ad industry: The Effie?

If Leo Burnett's chairman and chief creative officer Cheryl Berman has her way, the annual awards program from the New York Marketing Association -- the Effie Awards -- will become the United States' most prestigious, sought-after and celebrated award in the advertising industry. The "only national competition that judges advertising and marketing results" has been around for nearly 40 years, and though many winners at this year's ceremony heralded their 2005 Effie Award wins through PR -- including United Airlines/Fallon, Apple/TBWA and BBDO -- the highest profile news coverage stemming from the 2005 Effie Awards was this piece from Advertising Age: "LEO BURNETT CHIEF CHIDES CREATIVES OVER EFFIE APATHY; Cheryl Berman Publicly Jabs at Lee Clow, Dan Wieden and Jeff Goodby." The AdAge piece sensationally drew from Ms. Berman's keynote address, wherein she challenged participants to raise the level of their work -- and also threw down the gauntlet to the ad industry's most famous stars who weren't on-hand at the June 6 event.

Though the piece does list as 2005 Effie Awards attendees high-profile ad luminaries Steve Hayden, Neil Powell, Ernest Lupinacci, Peter McHugh and Paul Venables, Ms. Berman took her opportunity to make some news on her own, using her keynote to raise the bar for everyone involved. Now to see how effectively her heroics impact the 2006 Effies....