Cilla Snowball and AMV among big winners at Oystercatchers Awards

Cilla Snowball was honoured with a ‘lifetime achievement award’ at last night’s Oystercatchers Awards, while AMV BBDO, Grey London and Isobel also walked away with prizes.

oystercatchers awards
Diageo’s CMO Syl Saller, AMV’s Dame Cilla Snowball and Oystercatchers CEO Suki Thompson

Dame Cilla Snowball was honoured with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and the agency at which she is chief executive, AMV BBDO, was crowned large agency of the year at the Oystercatchers Awards last night (21 November).

Snowball was handed the trophy by Diageo CMO Syl Saller and Oystercatchers CEO Suki Thompson. Presenting the award, Saller said: “Those of you who know Cilla know that in her mind, it is literally never about her.  It’s about the work, the team, the clients and AMV BBDO has had a great year, a great 14 years in fact, under her leadership.”

Snowball recently announced she was leaving the agency after 26 years, during which time she has risen from new business director to group chairman and chief executive. She has also been the president of industry bodies WACL, the Marketing Group of Great Britain, The Thirty Club and the Advertising Association.

AMV BBDO’s win last night followed its success at the Marketing Week Masters Awards last month, where it was named agency of the year and Grand Prix winner for its work on Bodyform’s ‘Blood Simple’ campaign.

The jury of more than 20 senior marketers said of the Omnicom-owned agency: “Despite being a large and long-standing agency, the way it is leading the industry is outstanding.”

READ MORE: Asos, Nationwide and Bodyform win top prizes at the Marketing Week Masters Awards

Thirteen awards were handed out at the ceremony at London’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Relaunched this year, the awards celebrated the partnerships between agencies and clients and the people and agencies who “strive to the move the industry forward”.

The small agency of the year award went to The Gate, which the judges said had a “strong culture” and was “ballsy” in having a clear point of view. The best small agency to work at award, which recognised the provision of a support framework that allows people to realise their potential, went to St.Luke’s while Brainlabs took the same accolade for a large agency.

One of the most prestigious awards of the evening was handed to WCRS founder Robin Wright for his work with The Ideas foundation. He founded the organisation 18 years ago to try and encourage young people from socially diverse and ethnic minority backgrounds into the creative industries.

The best new agency gong went to Uncommon, of which the judges said it was “refreshing to see an agency put their money where their mouth is and launch ventures at such an early stage.”

The judging panel included Centrica Group CMO Margaret Jobling, Barclaycard marketing director Alex Naylor, and managing director for group brands and marketing at Lloyds Banking Group, Catherine Kehoe.

Portraits of several judges shot by photographer Rankin were on show at the ceremony as part of The Marketing Influencers exhibition. Other senior marketing leaders featured in the exhibition include Unilever CMO Keith Weed and Saller. The exhibition and awards have so far raised more than £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The awards are delivered in partnership with Hogarth, MiQ, Oracle and Rankin.

The winners

Best Agency Marketing – Isobel

Best Bespoke Credentials – adam&eveDDB

New Business Team of the Year – agenda21

Best Place to Work, Small Agency – St. Luke’s

Best Place to Work, Large Agency – Brainlabs
Highly Commended – Wunderman

Commercial Acumen – Grey London

Success in Marketing Transformation for a Client – McCann London

The Evolve Award for Outstanding Technology Innovation – Zone

Best New Agency – Uncommon

Small Agency of the Year – The Gate

Large Agency of the Year – AMV BBDO
Highly Commended – adam&eveDDB

Industry Leader of the Year – Robin Wright, WCRS and The Ideas Foundation founder  Highly Commended-  Isabel Farchy, founder of the Creative Mentor Network

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dame Cilla Snowball, chair and CEO of AMV BBDO

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