MFA drops its 2018 media awards to reboot ‘effectiveness’ criteria

The Media Federation of Australia is cancelling this year’s MFA Awards in a move which it says is about rethinking its criteria on recognising effectiveness.

The event usually take place in mid-October. The MFA – which is the industry association representing media agencies – says its awards will return in 2019.

As well as putting its awards on hold, the MFA says it is is introducing a new strategy to focus on effectiveness and client advocacy. In a statement, MFA CEO Sophie Madden said: “We’re working in a rapidly changing media environment with more choices than ever before in terms of how to reach target audiences, and – as an industry – we need to be able to clearly demonstrate the value media agencies deliver in making those choices for clients.”

The news follows a period of controversy over industry awards involving media agencies. Last year a Mumbrella investigation revealed exaggerated and misleading claims made on industry awards by Atomic 212 and its CEO, Jason Dooris. Two months after the investigation, Dooris departed the agency.

As a result of perceived failings in the handling of the AdNews Awards juding, which Atomic won, MFA members engineered a boycott of the publication’s awards, forcing them to cancel its media agency categories.  AdNews will present the winners in its remaining awards categories next week.

Mindshare chief strategy officer Joe Lunn, who took over from WPP’s Greg Graham as chair of the MFA Awards committee at the end of last year, said in the statement: “The purpose of the MFA Awards has always been to celebrate ‘work that works’, and this is a great opportunity for us to re-evaluate the standards by which we judge success, not just in terms of awards but as a wider industry. We’re excited about creating an event that not only recognises the best in the business, but also provides an opportunity to share thought leadership and advance industry best practice.”


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