LONDON: Admap, Warc's flagship magazine dedicated to thought leadership, today launches the Admap Prize 2015, offering a $5,000 cash prize to the best essay discussing Big Data and its influence on creative thinking.

The competition is free to enter and seeks to encourage and reward excellence in strategic thinking in brand communications.

Full details on the subject – "Does Big Data inspire or hinder creative thinking" – as well as details about how to submit entries are available on the Admap Prize website. The closing date for entry is January 31, 2015.

A distinguished panel of thought leaders from both the agency and client side will judge the entries and they include Marc Mathieu, Senior Vice-President, Marketing, at Unilever, and Julie Kollman, Global Head of Insights at SABMiller.

Commenting on this year's theme, Admap editor Colin Grimshaw said the collection and use of data is an issue of fundamental importance to the industry.

"It's a topic that is being hotly argued in all corners of our industry and the question we have set goes to the heart of the debate and anxiety around data," he said.

"The gathering of data, its manipulation and its employment is fundamental to the future of marketing," he added.

Big Data is neither a panacea for all of marketing's ills nor "the enemy at the gate", he said, but important questions need to be asked about its role in the creative process and the development of ideas.

For example, while Big Data can help to finesse media strategy, some media planners fear programmatic buying will replace human skill in media selection, he noted.

There is also the ongoing debate about how data can be used to optimise brand messaging to the benefit of consumers without infringing their privacy.

These and other thoughts will be the subject of this year's prize, a unique opportunity to have the quality of ideas recognised by some of the industry's leading thinkers.

In addition to the $5,000 cash prize, essays awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze will be published in a special edition of Admap magazine and on

Data sourced from Warc