Chiat/Day by a hair

It was a photo finish. Competing in a field of 12 agencies that represent the cream of Canada's ad agency community, Chiat/Day won Strategy's 1992 Agency of the Year competition for the second year in a row. But the margin was...

It was a photo finish.

Competing in a field of 12 agencies that represent the cream of Canada’s ad agency community, Chiat/Day won Strategy’s 1992 Agency of the Year competition for the second year in a row.

But the margin was incredibly close. Chiat/Day came first with a score of 7.80, closely followed by Ogilvy and Mather with 7.74 and MacLaren: Lintas a tiny fraction behind at 7.73 out of a possible 10 points.

In fact, the race was so tight among five agencies at the front – less than four-tenths of a point separated first and fifth – that we decided to publish the top five finishers.

If this competition were to be likened to a 100-metre dash, it was truly anyone’s race.

The field of 12 selected to enter this elite run represent the finest performers from the past year as judged by Strategy.

We pored over the year’s awards annuals, we scoured our own news pages and we talked to a wide cross-section of people in the advertising and marketing community in putting together our invitational run.

Last year, we invited seven agencies. This year, the marketplace seemed to think that the field should be wider, and we invited the names that kept recurring in our research. It ended up at 12.

As the results began coming in from the 12 judges spread out across the country and across a wide divergence of disciplines and points of view, it was clear that the race would be tight. At about the mid-way mark, one half of the pack nudged slightly ahead. And they stayed that way right until they crossed the finish line.

Literally, with one judge to report, we could still not predict a winner. It was that close.

We took a new approach in our Agency of the Year competition this year. Whereas last year agencies were judged on the performance of their work from a strategic and creative perspective and the service they provide in media planning and buying, this year they were judged on their work alone.

The media side of their operations was judged separately, to make the competition wider and to give the media operations in this country their own special focus.

That competition, involving a confidential survey of media sellers across the country, appears on page 18 of this report.

In this case, the race ended in an absolute tie, between McKim Media Group and Media Buying Services for Best Media Operation. Both companies earned the same number of points.

Included in the focus on media operations are Strategy’s first annual Media All Star Teams, showing the top individual performers in media planning and buying operations, for English and French Canada.