Baxter confirms UM ‘won’t be entering media agency awards anymore’



The CEO of UM has confirmed the agency will no longer be entering Media Agency of the Year awards after repositioning as a “creative connections agency”, as revealed by Mumbrella yesterday. 

“Given our new positioning we don’t feel that benchmarking ourselves with media agencies is particularly meaningful or useful,” Mat Baxter told Mumbrella this morning.

“That’s why we won’t be entering media agency of the year awards.” 

Yesterday Baxter said “media agencies aren’t our competitors” as he cited a number of digital and PR focussed agencies as their new competitive set.

Responding to commenters’ questions under the article as to why UM had entered the AdNews Awards in the media agency category Baxter wrote: “We entered these awards for our performance over the past 12 months and before our new positioning was launched.

“Moving forward we will no longer be entering ‘Media Agency of the Year’ awards.”

While Baxter said the agency would no longer focus on media agency awards he did leave the door open to entering broader “media awards”, which focused on “excellence and effectiveness in communications strategy.”

“We will still be entering our work into relevant award categories to ensure we continue to benchmark our work against the wider industry. This includes “media” awards that recognise excellence and effectiveness in communications strategy.”

Baxter also addressed other questions over the agency’s new position from critics noting that UM would still going to be lining up for media agency pitches.

“Of course we will continue to tender for media pitches,” he said. “But will be challenging clients during the process to reimagine what media really is and the role that we can play beyond paid media within their business.”

Asked if he felt the categories for awards in Australia place too much emphasis on paid media Baxter responded: “Yes. Most of the major award shows still categorise categories by channel and these channels are primarily in the paid media space.”

Nic Christensen 


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