The British Media Awards are over for another year, and we’re sure some of the winners are still nursing sore heads from the ceremony.

But their victories – and the achievements of every team that made it onto our judges’ shortlist this year – are worth sharing, since the reasons behind the wins provide clues about the trajectory of the wider media industry. 

So here’s who’s won industry recognition at the British Media Awards this year, and the reasons behind some decisions our judges felt were especially worth highlighting.


Pioneer of the Year – Katie Vanneck-Smith

Chief customer officer and global managing director of Dow Jones Katie Vanneck-Smith only took the role in September of 2014, but has already redefined the brand.

As the industry grapples with the notion that being a big player isn’t enough to secure sustainability, Dow Jones has shifted its focus back to the individual consumer. That doesn’t mean the company is shrinking its ambitions, however, as the global expansion of the Wall Street Journal’s exclusive subscriber membership program WSJ+ demonstrates.

Initiatives like the expansion of the Customer Group, new collaborations with News Corp and an increased focus on video projects ensure that Dow Jones is blazing a trail to innovate new revenue models with Katie Vanneck-Smith at the helm


Media Company of the Year – Dennis Publishing

Dennis had a great year with both turnover and margin growth in 2015; the judges felt that Dennis was a company that was very clear about what it was good at and had diversified well around its strengths.

Launches of The Week Junior and Coach took successful existing platforms (The Week and Men’s Fitness) and looked for clever ways to extend the brand. There is a feeling of both innovation and pace within the company. Nothing stands still and their corporate culture clearly shone through in the entry.

Dennis now has an unusual corporate structure – with profits run for the benefit of a charity, The Heart of England Forest – but the underlying spirit that Felix Dennis brought to the business is still running through the DNA of the company he created.

In this category our judges had a really hard time picking a winner with the entry from The Drum also very strong. They would like to mention that, as a British company, how great it was to see The Drum expanding overseas and growing influence in America and Singapore.


Outstanding Contribution award – Alan Rusbridger

During his 20 year tenure as editor, Alan Rusbridger oversaw the growth of the Guardian from the ninth-largest newspaper in the UK to the third-largest news brand in the world. During that time he was instrumental in defending the Guardian from threats to its existence, from high-profile lawsuits to WikiLeaks, and undeniably helped define and promote the concept of ‘open journalism’.

Rusbridger, in concert with his team at the Guardian, also helped to pioneer many digital publishing endeavours which we now take for granted, in addition to delivering on the mission of liberal journalism with endeavours such as the phone-hacking scandal, Edward Snowden, and the Keep It In The Ground campaign.

The outstanding contribution to the British Media award, like all our awards at the BMAs, is about rewarding bravery and innovation in an industry that is changing rapidly. Nobody yet has the answers, but we feel it is important to reward those who take bold steps and who have undeniably changed the media landscape along the way.


Editorial Campaign of the Year

Judges said Grazia’s ‘Mind The Pay Gap campaign is a shining example of an important and innovative editorial endeavour. It took the needs of its audience – a need of which many of them were unaware – and brought it to widespread attention. More importantly, it had a tangible effect on the lives of its audience and represents an undeniable victory for the thousands of people who got involved as a direct result of Grazia’s campaign.

The judges were as impressed by the quality of the campaign as they were by the strategy behind it, which has strengthened and bolstered Grazia’s standing as a brand.

Silver: Dennis Publishing/Den of Geek: “Geeks vs. loneliness”

Bronze: Independent/Evening Standard: “#refugeeswelcome”


Commercial Campaign of the Year

Purple: Time Inc. UK: “Changing the Face of The British Army”

Silver: JCDecaux: “Jurassic World”

Bronze: Factory Media: “The Indestructibles”


Sales Team of the Year

Purple: DODS Group Plc Sales Team

Silver: Open Door Media Publishing – Investment Europe

Bronze: Centaur Media – The Profile Group Content Sales Team


Ad Tech Provider of the Year

Purple: Grapeshot – Grapeshot Advanced Keyword Technology

Silver: Captify – C3 – Search Intelligence powered advertising

Bronze: Unruly – UnrulyX


Print Product of the Year

Purple: Bauer Media – MOJO Magazine

Silver: Ascential – The Architectural Review

Bronze: The Drum – The Drum Magazine


App of the Year

Purple: Economist – Espresso

Silver: Reuters – Reuters TV

Bronze: The Guardian – The Guardian


Product Team of the Year

Purple: Time Inc. UK – The Lab

Silver: Dennis Publishing – Dennis Digital

Bronze: The Guardian – The Guardian Digital Development Team


Marketing Team of the Year

Purple: YOOX NET-A-PORTER– PORTER – Marketing Team

Silver: UBM EMEA – Safety & Health Expo

Bronze: Immediate Media – Subscriptions Marketing Team


Event of the Year

Purple: The Drum – Do It Day

Silver: Open Door Media Publishing – Funds Society Fund Selector Summit 2015

Bronze: Centaur Media – Festival of Marketing


Content Team of the Year

Purple: Guardian News & Media – Guardian Professional Networks

Silver: Startups.co.uk – Editorial team

Bronze: WGSN – WGSN Content 


Rising Star

Purple: Centaur Media – Faye Bell

Silver: Startups.co.uk – Megan Dunsby

Bronze: Dennis Publishing – Nick Flood


Video Project of the Year

Purple: The Economist – Economist Films

Silver: VICE Media – VICE News – Europe or Die

Bronze: Dezeen – Future Makers


Website of the Year sponsored by Acquia

Purple: Ascential – Nursing Times Website

Silver: Telegraph Media Group – telegraph.co.uk

Bronze: WGSN – WGSN Influence Strategy


Digital Launch of the Year sponsored by Affino

Purple: Business Insider – Business Insider UK Launch

Silver: Retail Week – Retail Week Prospect

Bronze: Dennis Publishing – Alphr.com


Launch of the Year sponsored by Plural Strategy

Purple: Dennis Publishing – The Week Junior

Silver: Lions Festivals – Lions Innovation

Bronze: BMJ – Rethinking Student BMJ


Media Brand of the Year

Purple: Immediate Media – Radio Times

Silver: Dennis Publishing – The Week

Bronze: First News (UK) Ltd – First News


Technology Provider of the Year

Purple: Smartology – SmartMatch™

Silver: Affino – Single-source Media Business Platform

Bronze: Zapnito – Building branded expert knowledge networks


Best Commercial Use of Data – Sponsored by LiveIntent

Purple: Squawka – Match Day Data

Silver: Zoopla Property Group – AdReach

Bronze: Financial Times – The Financial Times reader engagement metric