NEW YORK The Richards Group took top honors at yesterday's Radio Mercury Awards for the year's best radio spot.
The Dallas-based shop took home $100,000 for its Motel 6 commercial titled "DVD," part of the brand's long-running radio campaign.
The annual gala held in New York also debuted two new categories. The first marketer of the year trophy was awarded to McDonald's for the fast-food franchise's long-term commitment to radio. JWT took home the first integrated campaign award for JetBlue.
Other winners included: Young & Rubicam for Office Depot; BBDO for AT&T; DDB for Anheuser-Busch; and Grupo Gallegos in the Spanish-language category for its Comcast spot titled “Epic.”
The show stirred some controversy, as four categories produced no winners: political, PSA, student produced and radio station produced, because they did not meet the standards of the 14-judge panel headed by Rick Boyko, executive director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter. For days, radio stations voiced their outrage in the trades over the perceived insult.
"I never heard of the Olympics canceling a medal event because none of the entrants were as good as previous champions," Lost Coast Communications president Patrick Cleary wrote in Radio Business Report. "None of these judges work for radio stations. They all work for ad agencies, and of course all the ad agency categories had winners."
In response, next year the Mercury Awards will double the cash awards in those categories and introduce a "people's choice" award voted by industry members.
The Radio Advertising Bureau also took the occasion to announce a new collaboration with the VCU Brandcenter to offer a creative workshop for radio stations.
Listen to all of this year's winners
Nielsen Business Media