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Why Canada’s agency sector said “no” to awards in 2020

By Scott Knox, President & CEO, Institute of Communication Agencies

As we reach the end of what’s obviously been a challenging year it’s important to highlight one element of the festive season that’s different in 2020 – the relative lack of agencies celebrating their fantastic achievements at the end-of-year awards shows.

That’s because, earlier in the year, the ICA led an industry-wide initiative to postpone all 2020 investment in awards shows. This was to allow agencies to focus more single-mindedly on creating great work for their clients and looking after their people as the effects of the pandemic were felt. The move meant not spending any money on award entries or events, regionally, nationally or internationally, until December 31, 2020.

It wasn’t an easy decision, especially given the ICA’s direct involvement in running the prestigious Effie Canada awards but it has proved so heartening to see our members, among them many of the largest agency brands in the world, as well as some of the most creative independents, sign up to the call. That’s enabled the ICA and our member agencies to put our full efforts into supporting the rebound of the agency sector for the long-term health of the industry and clients.

Now’s the time to say a big thank you to those agencies that stuck to the pledge. And, if you’re a brand wondering why your agency isn’t among the wins this year, you can trust that it’s nothing to do with their capability and talent. It’s just that, quite rightly, their focus has been elsewhere. They stuck to their word, and concentrated on your work and their people.

Looking forward, it’s been so positive to see brilliant creativity continuing to emerge from Canada’s communications agencies and there’s no doubt that awards will be back in 2021, because it’s our firm belief at the ICA that no great work should be left unseen.

The agencies that supported this call were:

  • 6 Degrees
  • BBDO
  • Camp Jefferson
  • Camp Pacific
  • Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC)
  • Citizen
  • Colony Project
  • Cossette
  • Cossette Media
  • Craft
  • Diamond Integrated Marketing
  • Giants & Gentlemen
  • Grey
  • GroupM
  • Horizon Media
  • John St
  • Jungle Media
  • Juniper Park\TBWA
  • K-72
  • Leo Burnett
  • LPi Group
  • m/Six
  • McCann
  • McCann Health
  • Marshall Fenn
  • Media Experts
  • MediaCom
  • Mindshare
  • Momentum
  • MRM
  • PowerShifter
  • Publicis Canada
  • Publicis Media
  • Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Sid Lee
  • Starcom
  • Taxi
  • The Hive
  • The Mars Agency
  • Union
  • Vector Media
  • Veritas
  • Wavemaker
  • Weber Shandwick
  • Wunderman Thompson

Report on Marketing is where leading Canadian agencies showcase their insights, cutting-edge research and client successes. The Report on Marketing provides a valuable source of thought leadership for Canadian marketers to draw inspiration from. Find more articles like this at the Report on Marketing.

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