LONDON: Leading agency figures from BSSP, Cheil, Deutsch and McCann start the line up for the judging panel for the Warc Innovation Prize for 2014, chaired by Peter Espersen, head of community co-creation at Lego.

Also joining the panel is J. Walker Smith, executive chairman of The Futures Company, the global futures consultancy and "one of America's leading analysts on consumer trends" according to Forbes.

"The imperative of our times is innovation, an area in which Warc excels," said Smith. "I am excited and eager to see the cutting-edge ideas in strategy and marketing that Warc is bringing together. I hope to be inspired. I know I will learn."

Fellow judge Ed Cotton, director/strategy and innovation at BSSP, the marcoms agency based in Sausalito, California, and chair of the 4As strategy committee observed that "innovation has sadly become an over-used term in marketing these days, so I am therefore excited to participate as a judge for an award that identifies and rewards meaningful innovation within the discipline."

Brent Vartan, partner and chief strategy officer at full service agency Deutsch New York, was also looking forward to being part of the judging panel. "Innovation is the lifeblood of creativity," he declared. "And there is nothing more needed in business today."

Others judges announced include Daniele Fiandaca, head of innovation at marketing solutions business Cheil and co-founder of a collective of the world's top creative directors, and Ben Lightfoot, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Singapore and chairman of the Singapore Effie Awards. A full list of the judges so far - more will be announced in the next two weeks - and their biographies is available here.

Now in its third year, the $10,000 Prize, a global search for effective innovation in marketing, is free to enter – full details are available at the Prize website – and open to all forms of marketing and communications.

In addition to the $5000 award to the Grand Prix, for the best overall paper, five $1,000 Special Awards will be awarded to the best examples of specific types of innovation: product or service innovation, channel innovation, category innovation, tech-led innovation and co-created innovation. Deadline for entries is July 31, 2014.

Data sourced from Warc