Agency Of The Year 2007: Letter From The Editor
Last year, I began this letter with the foreboding, "I can almost hear the kvetching now: 'Mediamagazine is in Starcom's vest pocket.'" This year, I can tell you I'm already pulling a few hatchets out of my back. This marks the fifth time in the five years that the award was given to all or part of the Starcom MediaVest organization. This isn't making me any friends. If you believe what a top rival of SMG shot me in an irate e-mail, it's losing me some.
"This note is about right and wrong, about a process that has gone awry and about the power to publish," the exec wrote me. "It's about an award that no longer represents the broad composition and achievements in our industry. The award has become a parody of itself. It's tragic and quite sad when recognition in our side of the business is so rare and yet so important as we try to create the next generation of leaders and leadership in an industry in the midst of terrifyingly rapid transition.
"You always state that this award is not about new business but rather is supposedly about demonstrating strategic vision, innovation and tangible industry leadership."
Obviously, we think the SMG organization demonstrated that over the past five years - and that MediaVest and Starcom did so individually during 2007. Otherwise, we would not have picked them again and risked incurring such wrath. But frankly, it may have been easier to have picked another worthy contender just to break the SMG dynasty and take the heat off us. But that would be the easy way out.
That said, the missive got me wondering how others might feel, so I'd like to pose a question to the heads of the other major media shops: Outside your own company, who would you have selected as the Media Agency of the Year for 2007? You can send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will keep your identity confidential, but will let our readers know what you think.
Meanwhile, I'd like the rest of our readers to judge from themselves. Read Jack Feuer's case for why MediaVest and Starcom each hit our three main criteria - strategic vision, innovation and industry leadership - during 2007, and I'm sure you'll agree with our decision. If you don't, you can also let me know that.
Some things I think - or hope - will be far less contentious, are our selections for the rest of this year's awards:
>> Media Department of the Year: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
>> Media Boutique of the Year: Naked
>> Media Client of the Year: Unilever
>> Media Supplier of the Year: Google
Actually, I know at least one of those was already contentious. Naked New York founder and chief Paul Woolmington took exception to being called a boutique, or even a media shop, which also makes me wonder whether the categories we've outlined are too narrow. Then again, Woolmington's suggestion for changing it to "Catalyst of the Year," would have been, well, just too plain naked.