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We expected better from the GuardianSDk Updates
Tues 08 Feb, 2011.
Shortlisted entries for the Guardian-sponsored MediaGuardian Innovation Awards (“Megas”) have just been announced and we’re not so much disappointed that we’re not on it as surprised that said shortlist is a virtual who’s who of the corporate world, relatively well- to well-established agencies, and high-profile campaigns.
For example, in the “On a budget” category, the shortlisted entrants include the production of some consumer-culture offering featuring heavily marketed new pop duo Hurts, produced by the agency FOAM/Sony Music Entertainment UK, for Hurts and RCA Records; and a campaign produced by Mindshare to lobby Transport for London over their congestion charge structure on behalf of their client, Volvo Cars UK.
In other words, completely, utterly commercial and mainstream: not entirely something we expected from the Guardian, especially considering the information disseminated about the awards, which gave the impression that genuine space is provided for genuinely small, independent players. Yes, we knew we were taking on the big time, but the scale of what we consider to be a farce is what we find surprising.
Or perhaps we shouldn’t really be surprised at the outcome, and only disappointed the Guardian has lent its own good name to the established order in such a comprehensive fashion – or can they blame (or thank) the event management agency engaged to run the Megas?
Our conclusion: the Megas are no different from any other industry tech awards, and truly independent and low-budget concerns are wasting their time, energy and money by entering.
We can only hope this year’s Megas isn’t an indication of pressures that can conceivably result in editorial changes-for-the-worse at what is easily the United Kingdom’s best and most progressive national daily newspaper.