NEW YORK—Ketchum, Weber Shandwick, healthcare specialist WCG (formerly WeissComm) and Twin Cities-based Padilla Speer Beardsley were among the big agency winners at last week’s North American SABRE Awards dinner, held at Cipriani on New York’s 42nd Street and attended by 880 industry leaders. IBM, meanwhile, took home the Platinum SABRE for the Best PR Campaign of 2009 for its Smarter Planet branding effort.
In addition to its award as Large Agency of the Year, Ketchum picked up six SABRE Awards for its campaign work, tied for first place among the 110 submitting agencies with Weber Shandwick Worldwide, which took home the Global Agency of the Year award in addition to its six campaign awards.
But the overall North American Agency of the Year award went to WCG, a healthcare specialist firm that enjoyed impressive 27 percent growth in 2009, ending the year with $26 million in fees. The Specialist Agency of the Year award was presented to New York consumer and healthcare specialist Marina Maher Communications. And the Best Agency to Work For trophy went to Padilla Speer Beardsley.
Other multiple winners in the campaign categories included Edelman (five awards); Carmichael Lynch Spong, GolinHarris and RF Binder (three each); and Cohn & Wolfe, Coyne PR, Fleishman-Hillard, Kaplow, MS&L Group, Ruder Finn and Schneider Associates (two each).
“Our 10th annual North American awards dinner was the most successful ever,” says Holmes Report editor Paul Holmes. “The fact that 880 senior professionals were in attendance a few months after one of the most difficult years in recent PR history demonstrates that the industry is well on its way to a spectacular rebound, and the fact that we saw so much high quality work suggests at least one of the reasons why.”