No Radio Winner In Radio Mercury Awards?
June 16, 2009 at 6:40 AM (PT)
THE RADIO MERCURY AWARDS, designed to highlight the best advertising on radio, is set to ignore radio for 2009. The Awards event will be held TOMORROW (6/17) in NEW YORK CITY at The Lighthouse, Pier 61.
So why didn't radio manage one winning commercial?
The RADIO MERCURY AWARDS wrote on their website, "The RADIO MERCURY AWARDS is a celebration of the best in Radio Advertising, and the goal this year has been to help Radio up its game. The 2009 panel of judges made a commitment to raise the bar on creativity and execution this year as they evaluated the hundreds of MERCURY AWARD entries across all categories.
To not have Radio in the 'Radio' Mercury Awards, is like saying entrants for American Idol will not be allowing Americans this year.
"As for the judges’ decision not to present awards in certain categories," the site continued, "our official guidelines give the judges the discretion to make selections, or not, to reduce the number of prizes or not to award a prize if they feel the quality of the entries does not meet their standards. Please also note that, per our guideline, entry fees are non-refundable."
PEAK BROADCASTING Pres./Broadcast Operations and FIGMEDIA Pres. BILL FIGENSHU commented, "To not have Radio in the 'RADIO' MERCURY AWARDS, is like saying entrants for AMERICAN IDOL will not be allowing Americans this year. Changing the rules mid-stream is simply unfair. By the way, many radio companies are actually becoming more creative because they have to be in this recession."
ALL ACCESS contacted RAB Pres./CEO JEFF HALEY, who told us that "we will have more to say on this TOMORROW."
The RAB did release this additional statement TODAY:
Our final round judges felt strongly that only those commercials that met a certain standard should be recognized -- whether created by stations, ad agencies, or students. As a result, we have fewer finalists and winners, and prizes will not be awarded in the following categories this year: Political, Public Service Announcement, Radio Station Produced, and Student Produced.
At the RADIO MERCURY AWARDS event this week, on JUNE 17th, we will announce several new initiatives that we hope will strengthen our educational and outreach efforts and will focus new energy on creative excellence in Radio, both in the advertising community and within the Radio industry.
A Challenge To Get More Creative
In ALL ACCESS' Creative Pit column on JUNE 2nd, Xhang Creative Founder and 2003 Mercury Award winner DOUG ZANGER accepted the Awards judges decision as a challenge. "In case you missed it, there will be no awards for Radio Station Produced and other categories in this year's Radio Mercury Awards. That should make you upset ... Good.
"I give the RAB, the Radio Creative Fund, RICK BOYKO and all of the judges a lot of credit for having the guts to take a stand on mediocre creative. Yes, this is the best radio-specific award in the world, but I think it is a good thing that the standards now have a new bar. It takes courage to do this and it sends a clear message: We need to do a better job. Period."
Read his entire column here.