• Holding Company of the Year: Dentsu
    Dentsu’s prescient acquisition of data-management giant Merkle back in 2016 gave the holding company a four-year head start on addressing the numerous marketing challenges faced by brands today including the deprecation of cookies, the confluence of consumer experience and broader marketing programs and the acceleration of commerce activity ignited by the pandemic. Brands experienced unprecedented challenges in 2020 as the world grappled with health and economic calamities wrought by COVID-19 forcing quick strategy pivots on messaging, products, commerce and other approaches to market. Having worked with people-based data at scale for years ahead of …
  • Creative Agency of the Year: The Lincoln Project
    At a time when advertising’s effectiveness is called into question by both industry insiders and those watching from the sidelines, the Lincoln Project (LP) serves as a perfect case study attesting to not only the essential need for creative messaging but how a group of talented individuals under one mission can join forces to change the world (or convince voters not to “buy” a candidate). The Lincoln Project may be best described as an ad agency disguised as a PAC (Political Action Committee). Founded in late 2019 by a number of high-profile political operatives, including …
  • Media Executive of the Year: Philippe Krakowsky
    Philippe Krakowsky will have some big shoes to fill when he officially succeeds Michael Roth as CEO at Interpublic Group in January. IPG was in disarray when Roth took over as CEO in 2005. Now the holding company is seen as one of the best performing firms in the industry. That said, in many ways Krakowsky has already shown that he’s up to the task, which is why he has been named MediaPost’s 2020 Executive of the year. He has worked tirelessly alongside Roth contributing in numerous ways to the company’s turnaround. Krakowsky, 58, has …
  • Media Client of the Year: The U.S. Census Bureau
    Once upon a time, nothing about the census sounded sexy, except to bean-counters and demographers. But in the upside-down reality known as 2020, the count turned contentious.  For Wavemaker, crafting and implementing the U.S. Census Bureau’s media plan played out as a thriller. If it had come across our nomination desk with a theme song, it would have been “Mission: Impossible.” This campaign dodged more missiles than Robert Downey Jr. in an action movie: COVID-19, massive social protests, a few grenades from President Donald J. Trump, and unexpected decisions from a U.S. Supreme Court case.  As …
  • Media Supplier of the Year: The Mainstream Media (a.k.a. "Fake News")
    After four years of being incessantly marginalized as “fake news” from the highest office possible, America’s mainstream news media rose to the occasion in what would have been a difficult year for publishers and newscasters by any standard. They had to contend with not one, but a “perfect storm” of events that challenged the very newsrooms needed to cover them, including:
    • A life-threatening pandemic
    • A disastrous economy
    • An explosion of civil unrest sparked by racial injustice
    • An epidemic of conspiracy-infused disinformation campaigns
    • The most politically contentious election year in recent memory
    Despite the …
  • Independent Agency of the Year: PMG
    "Being agile has really worked well for us, and the biggest difference now is that we're not just talking to CMOs, but to the CEOs and CFOs too. It's not just about media and marketing. They want us to drive business results and strategies."
  • Search Agency of the Year: Merkle
    Merkle has adjusted to a year of unprecedented challenges through forward thinking, innovation, diversity, and data while changing its partner strategy, differentiating its services with the use of data, and leaping headfirst into automation.
  • Media Agency of the Year: Mindshare
    Selecting our agency of the year is always a rigorous process. Selecting the same agency two years in a row -- especially when one of them is 2020 -- is a remarkably higher bar.