Since their launch in 1980, the IPA Effectiveness Awards (the full archive of which is available for warc.com subscribers) have become the gold standard for global case study competitions that focus on a campaign's business results, rather than its creative approach. The announcement of the awards winners, every two years in November, is therefore one of the ad industry's most closely-watched events.
This time around, the IPA has expanded its programme: from the traditional black-tie awards evening to a five-day festival of marketing effectiveness. Effectiveness Week, launched at an event in London yesterday, takes place on the week of October 31st, with the awards themselves handed out on November 2nd. The programme includes over 50 speakers, with a mix of presentations and seminars taking place across 11 different venues. And it won't be a closed forum for agencies: the IPA is aiming to have 50% of attendees and participants coming from the client side.
This aim was reiterated by two client presenters at yesterday's event. David Wheldon, CMO of RBS, the largely state-owned financial services giant, told the audience he took part in "feisty" discussions when advising on Effectiveness Week's agenda.
"It's not an easy thing to do - a conference that represents everybody's interests," he added. "Us clients are concerned about digital measurement - that's going to be addressed. And, with my RBS hat on, I think about our daily investment of taxpayers' money - and how we need to be transparent in what we are doing. And that's going to be addressed too."
Meanwhile, Conrad Bird, director of the government-backed GREAT Britain campaign, underlined the industry's importance to the UK as a whole - and, in turn, the importance of proving effectiveness to the industry.
"It's creativity, and the effectiveness that goes with it, that makes us competitive and world-class as a nation," he told the audience. "We lead the world in advertising effectiveness - in helping to disprove Lord Leverhulme's famous words. And the true measure of our work is in the IPA Effectiveness Awards, not Lions and Pencils!"
Results of this year's awards will be watched closely by clients as well as agencies, in other words. The winners will be chosen from the 39 campaigns listed on this year's shortlist, which was also revealed at the event last night. And Warc will have all of the winning case studies available for subscribers, when the awards are announced in November.