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Atomic 212 wins at Campaign Asia awards despite furore, as New York Festivals refutes Agency of the Year claim

Media agency Atomic 212 last night picked up four Campaign Asia awards just a week after Mumbrella revealed how the agency submitted a series of exaggerated claims in previous award entries.

The accolades came as further questions emerged over the agency’s claims, with New York Festivals, a major advertising and marketing show in the US, rejecting Atomic’s boasts that it won their top Agency of the Year award last year. The agency also wrongly claimed in its recent winning B&T Awards entry to be Mumbrella’s 2016 agency of the year.

At the Campaign Asia Awards last night, held in Singapore, the media agency won the digital, independent and social media categories, and also picked up new business development team of the year, a category in which it was the only finalist. The winning entry submissions are not publicly available.

Atomic was also runner up to UM as Australia Media Agency of the Year.

But chief executive Jason Dooris did not retain his crown as Australia/NZ Agency Head of the Year, an award he won in 2016 with a submission in which he made numerous exaggerated claims of “all media” wins of major blue chip companies.

Dooris pictured presenting at this year’s Mumbrella Asia Awards

Jaimes Leggett, group CEO of M&C Saatchi, won the agency head of the year award.

Campaign Asia has failed to respond to numerous requests for comment over its apparent decision to honour the 2016 awards.

A screenshot of part of Atomic 212’s recent entry into the B&T Awards

The awards came as New York Festivals told Mumbrella it had no record of Atomic being named Agency of the Year in 2016. In an entry to the recent B&T Awards, which has been viewed by Mumbrella, Atomic claimed an “awards grand slam” in 2016 including being named Agency of the Year at the prestigious New York event. Based on the entry, Atomic was named independent agency of the year at the B&T Awards a fortnight ago.

But organisers have told Mumbrella that while Atomic 212  was a finalist in 10 categories – all for its Lucy the Robot PR stunt – it did not win Agency of the Year.

According to records provided by New York Festivals, Y&R New Zealand was Asia Pacific’s agency of the year.

And it was also untrue for Atomic to state in the B&T entry that it was Mumbrella’s 2016 agency of the year. In fact this was won by by Cummins & Partners.

Mumbrella’s agency of the year is selected from individual winners of the creative agency of the year, media agency of the year and PR agency of the year, as the top award of the night. And while Atomic 212 won media agency of the year in 2016, Mumbrella did not select it for the top title, giving that to Cummins & Partners.

Cummins & Partners won Mumbrella’s 2016 agency of the year, not Atomic 212

The claim of being the AdNews agency of the year for 2016 also appears to be incorrect, with AdNews reporting at the time that The Monkeys was its agency of the year. On that occasion Atomic won in the media agency category, but did not take the top agency of the year accolade.

Meanwhile, CEO Magazine has failed to respond to numerous requests to unravel the mystery of a claim that Dooris oversaw a revenue jump of 1000%.

After being named runner-up as CEO of the Year in the magazine’s awards last month, a story on the publication’s website lauded Dooris for “a business model transformation” that generated “a phenomenal revenue increase of more than 1000%”.

Questioned by Mumbrella on the extraordinary claims, Dooris later said it should have read 100% and claimed it was a typo on the part of CEO Magazine. It was then altered from 1000% to 100% on the website.

But two Atomic documents seen by Mumbrella also claim revenue growth of 1000%. In addition, furious Atomic chairman Barry O’Brien suggested to Dooris in an email seen by Mumbrella that it was not a typo and that Dooris had called in a “massive favour” to get the figure changed.

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