Starcom MediaVest Group named Agency Network of the Year in Valencia

With 19 shortlists, SMG beat out runners up Mindshare and MediaCom in the final prize-giving event at the Festival of Media Awards.

Starcom MediaVest Group was named Media Agency Network of the Year yesterday at the final prize-giving event for the Festival of Media Awards, located for the first time this year in Valencia, Spain. Digitas USA picked up the Agency Office of the Year prize while Microsoft was named Media Owner of the Year.

‘We were very pleased with the number of shortlists we had as a network (19), and this obviously came into play when they decided the overall agency network winner,’ says Lauren Richards, CEO of SMG Canada, who, as part of SMG’s global review committee helped the network finesse its submissions. Two of those shortlisted campaigns include SMG Canada’s ‘Be proud of your weiner’ campaign for ConAgra Food’s Pogo brand, and its ‘Fai…what? Creating a new medium for Chinese Canadians’ campaign for Diageo Canada’s Johnnie Walker brand. ‘It was a fascinating experience for me to work with teams in places like India, Singapore and Poland to help them craft the best possible story, to show the work in the best possible light,’ Richards tells MiC.

The other Canadian winner at the festival announced earlier this week was PHD Canada – a runner up as Agency of the Year – which won for its ‘Dove Sleepover for Self Esteem’ campaign in the Best Targeted Campaign category, and the Award for Branding Bravery category for its ‘Finding Body and Soul’ execution for Dove Pro-Age. Cossette Media’s campaign for General Motors Optimum Dealers was also shortlisted and highly commended in the Best use of Search Category.

Also announced yesterday was the People’s Award, a unique prize voted for by both the global advertising community and the Festival of Media delegates, which went to MediaCom India for its work on the ‘India Shaves’ campaign for the Gillette Mach3 launch. The Creativity Award went to MediaCom Israel for Ha’Poalim’s ‘Wedding Direct,’ McCann Erickson Macedonia for Veritas Spiriti’s ‘Check Them’ and Digitas USA for Holiday Inn’s ‘Stay Smart, America’ campaign.

Other final prizes include the Effectiveness Award, won by OMD UK for Walker’s ‘Do Us a Flavour,’ Starcom India for P&G’s ‘How Rural India Grew to Love Tide and Head & Shoulders’ and Starcom MediaVest Group UK for Cadbury Crème Egg ‘Goo.’ The Partnership Award went to Initiative Colombia for ‘Project Pacifico,’ Profero for Halifax Bank of Scotland’s ‘The Sun: Expat,’ and Naked Communications USA for Planned Parenthood’s ‘Proper Attire.’