Much to celebrate at Media Week Awards

MediaWeek Awards

Last
night’s Media Week Awards at the Grosvenor proved yet again that no one parties
like the media fraternity.

While other
‘big’ awards have been, well, rather less big this year, Media Week’s annual bash
was as large and as vibrant as ever, with more than 1,300 attendees representing
media owners, agencies and clients.

Of course the
main topic for the night was predetermined long ago: Just how bad is the
current economic climate?, how much worse will it get?, and when will real growth
start to appear?

As one
newspaper managing director told me, “everyone’s still talking a good game, and
I think that’s important, but behind closed doors we all know any talk of
recovery is grossly premature”.

This sentiment supports downgraded ad forecasts by ZenithOptimedia earlier this
month
, which marked the UK out as one of the world’s biggest fallers this year,
after a “worse than expected first half of 2009”.

But not
even the current climate could deflate the worthy winners last night, with
Mediaedge:cia paving the way after winning the industry’s biggest accolade, Media
Week’s Agency of The Year
.

The WPP
agency continues to go from strength-to-strength, growing billings 5%
year-on-year at a time when the wider market is battling double-digit declines.

While fierce
rivalries within the British media mean very few awards ever go undisputed: the
crowning of MEC last night was one of those rare exceptions.

“I suppose
if we were going to lose to anyone, it should have been them,” said one
runner-up agency head begrudgingly.

“Can’t
really argue with that,”
opined another, “but lets see where they go from here,”
which for those who don’t know, is high praise indeed in agency-land.


Comedian Frankie
Boyle aptly set the tone for the evening from the off, being suitably funny and
offensive, with an added edge of instability.

Of course,
not even the best celebrations run entirely smoothly, and when OK!’s after
party was gate-crashed by footballer Shaun Wright-Philips and his “crew”, it
was definitely time to go home.

Now where’s the Pro Plus?