Editorial Agency of the Year

Three years ago, when we developed our own advertising Agency of the Year competition, we said we wanted to do it in a way that had never been done before.We believe the exercise is important, in that identifying an Agency of...

Three years ago, when we developed our own advertising Agency of the Year competition, we said we wanted to do it in a way that had never been done before.

We believe the exercise is important, in that identifying an Agency of the Year helps provide a permanent record of each year’s greatest achievements, while focussing on the country’s leading advertising people and their work in a celebratory way.

When we sat down to devise a way of going about it, we set as our objective the creation of a mechanism that would be fair and credible.

We felt, for instance, that to name a single top performer by huddling among ourselves as a group of trade journalists – however well-informed – did not go far enough. It seemed reasonable for reporters and editors close to the scene to be able to select the group of agencies that are leading the pack. But to choose one from among them seemed to require another kind of scrutiny and assessment.

We invented, therefore, a two-part process whereby we identify those agencies that have edged forward during the year, and then ask them to submit their work to a panel of judges who will make the call.

As in past years, each agency is being asked to submit five of their best advertising campaigns. The work will be judged from the perspective of creativity and marketing thinking by leading agency and marketing people.

We have just completed the first phase of the process. Over the past month, we reviewed back issues of our own editorial pages, awards annuals and other accounts of industry news. Each time an agency distinguished itself, we recorded the name. By the end of it, we had a list of 24 agencies.

Then we went to the community, asking a wide cross-section of agency people, suppliers and some clients their impressions of each of the 24. We ran down the list of names, asking suppliers and clients who they felt deserved to be in the running, and agency people who, among those names, they viewed as the toughest competition.

Just over half of the dozen names that we finally settled upon were clear-cut selections. Three were unanimous. The rest were difficult judgment calls.

But as best as we can tell, following in alphabetical order are the 12 agencies who deserve to be in the running:

BCP Strategy-Creativity

Chiat/Day Advertising

Cossette Communication-Marketing

Doner Schur Peppler Advertising

Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners Advertising

Leo Burnett Company

MacLaren: Lintas

McKim Baker Lovick/BBDO

Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising

TAXI

Wasserman Cozens Dundon

Young & Rubicam

The winners, their work and our Agency of the Year will appear in the Dec. 13 issue of Strategy.