What are intermediaries looking for as judges?

When the IAS participates in judging awards we do so in support of those awards which demonstrate agency commitment from a business perspective. After all, an intermediary's role is to ensure partnerships that add value.

Over the years, IAS personnel have been involved in judging awards such as AdFocus, where agencies are rated on how well they partner with their clients to deliver on business creativity, reach and revenue.

Then, the DMASA Assegai Awards - billed as “a mark of victory in integrated marketing excellence” - require intermediaries to provide valuable insights in determining how an agency ranks across the board. As part of the Assegai Awards, Credentials Awards are judged specifically on an agency’s ability to put together a credentials set that will drive new business acquisitions.

All Assegai Awards 2021 finalists announced
All Assegai Awards 2021 finalists announced

The Direct Marketing Association of SA has published a complete list of over 100 finalists in the running for dozens of Assegai Direct and Integrated Marketing Awards...

Issued by DMASA 13 Oct 2021

We seek creativity in how the agencies actually present their credentials. Any agency’s focus on improving their credentials and noting their new business hit-rate is what ultimately impacts on their success in pitches, making them important points of judgement.

Effie Worldwide’s Effie Awards review effectiveness in marketing and ideas which is the area that the IAS loves to evaluate.

Understanding agency effectiveness

In all these awards, intermediaries review the areas of agency effectiveness, which is precisely what we encourage clients to look for when choosing an agency.

The fact that we review attributes that directly impact the business ranking of an agency during the judging process means we have even greater knowledge of how the organisation operates - and we store this information for when marketers need recommendations.

Inaugural Effie Awards SA announces winners
Inaugural Effie Awards SA announces winners

The most effective marketing communications campaigns of the past year were announced on 14 October 2021 at the inaugural Effie Awards South Africa gala event held at The Galleria in Sandton...

14 Oct 2021

Being able to look deeper into how an agency is judged on the various criteria by a diverse panel of judges brings adds depth to intermediaries and their recommendations.

About Johanna McDowell

Johanna McDowell counsels clients and agencies around expectations in the advertising, marketing process. She is CEO of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS) and managing partner for SCOPEN in the UK and South Africa. Contact Johanna on tel +27 (0)10 594 0281, email her at and follow her on Twitter at @jomcdowell.
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