I'm fresh from two days of judging the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards, where 70 of the industry's brightest from agency and client side took time out to lend their professional eye to pick the winners and finalists (the full list of finalists is on page 29).
It was an even more gruelling process than usual as we had a 25% uplift in entries this year, quite unheard of, seeing as we only added one category (Best Use of Mobile). It speaks volumes for the value placed on AdNews and what our awards stand for and the calibre of the judges – particularly when there is so much award-fatigue around.
But what it also tells me is that there is a strong current of confidence in the market that 2015 was a good year for agencies and for work – a confidence that has more than spilled over to 2016. The quality was good – that 25% increase wasn't made up of drivel – it was good solid work and I look forward to sharing the celebrations with you all on 3 March (subtle hint: book your tickets now).
You'll notice some changes in the printed issue of AdNews this time around. We've taken a look at the content that we're creating, and how we can present it better in a way that's more compelling. I know that you're busy. You don't have time to read something that isn't interesting or relevant to you, that doesn't help you do your job better by giving you some insight into what another brand is doing, be that globally or locally.
We've reworked our features and overhauled our news pages – the concept of 'news' in a fortnightly title is defunct. We know that you read your news online and that's where you can still find ours. But what we will now offer even more in print is a news review – a deeper look behind the news, when it's had time to breathe. We can reflect on the implications, the reasons and the significance of the events making waves beyond the hectic pace of the digital rat race. It’s the news with a bit more consideration.
In this issue alone, you can find an exclusive interview with GoPro's global creative director, a delve into the social universe exploring brand consultant and academic Mark Ritson's controversial war on social media, and a round-up of the 10 things high on the media and marketing agenda in 2016.
We'll also be bringing in more diverse voices from across media, creativity, marketing and technology – including a concerted effort to make more women visible. You'll notice some new regular columnists including Gruen and Ten's Russel Howcroft, who you can find on page 27.
I've harped on about it before but I love the advertising industry. I love marketing, brands and media. Sometimes it needs to be challenged, to be poked and questions asked, but AdNews' role is to be a constructive voice in the market. To cover the industry and challenge it but with an insightful, constructive and progressive voice, exploring angles that offer a credible and authoritative perspective. That's what you'll get from us. I hope it helps you make a choice about where you give your attention.
Rosie Baker is editor of AdNews