CEBAs illustrate creative's power

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Last month's Creative Excellence in Business Advertising (CEBA) awards ceremony, timed to coincide with the high-visibility Advertising Week in New York City, helped raise awareness of b-to-b creative and why it matters.

"This is the year that CEBA became a brand, and we really broke through with agencies," said Gordon Hughes, president-CEO of American Business Media.

Traditionally, agencies big and small have tended to overlook b-to-b creative and give it minimal effort. Likewise, b-to-b marketers haven't wanted to spend much on creative, resulting in ads that too often don't resonate with readers the way they should.

But that may be changing. This year at the CEBA awards, which I chair for ABM, we received a record number of entries (more than 440). This included a record 109 entries coming directly from ad agencies.

OgilvyOne Worldwide took home the Grand CEBA and $25,000 for its print campaign for insurance company FM Global.

In addition, many major publishing companies supported the effort by sponsoring and submitting entries. Sponsors included Advanstar, CMP Media, Crain Communications, Forbes .com, International Data Group, Primedia, Reed Business Information, VNU and Ziff Davis Media.

We really need agencies, as well as marketers, in our corner. Hopefully, agencies and marketers alike will respond to the need for better creative and take note of the CEBA winners.

Bob Felsenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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