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ACE Newspaper & Magazine Awards 2020 – winners announced

In a virtual ceremony yesterday, hosted by Tom Evans, ACE announced the winners of its 2020 Newspaper & Magazine Awards.

ACE Newspaper & Magazine Awards 2020 – winners announced
Judge Rich Mead explaining why the Daily Mail won the National Newspaper of the Year award.

ACE Newspaper & Magazine Awards recognise outstanding work in newspaper and magazine publishing, distribution and retailing.

Master of Ceremonies Tom Evans guided the reported 300+ guests through the event. Many of the categories were new this year helping ACE recognise the broadest functions across the industry.

In a first this year, attendees were able to hear from the judges who gave their reasoning for awarding the win.

ACE COO James Beardow commented: “Whilst we cannot meet together in person at this time, the ACE Governing Committee and I wanted to share and celebrate, by way of our online event, the nominees and winners of our 18, hotly contested award categories. Our exciting virtual ceremony, allows ACE to formally recognise the very best talent, innovation and teamwork across our dynamic, fast paced, resilient and ever-changing industry.”

The awards ceremony was only possible, says ACE, through the support provided by: Smith News, Guardian Media, Cafeyn, Mail Newspapers, Iberpress, MPP Global, Menzies Distribution, National Federation of Retail Newsagents, HH&S, DSB.Net, Reach Plc, Hearst UK, Global Media Hub, InPublishing, Newstraid, Wessenden Marketing, Telegraph Media Group and the ACE Board of Trustees.

The ceremony can be viewed in full, here.

The winners:

BRAND TEAM OF THE YEAR

Marketforce International

Judges’ comments: The judges reflected very positively on Marketforce International, a truly worthy winner. They were impressed with the results achieved in a tough and traditionally declining market, particularly around new business and the clear focus on category sustainability. They felt Marketforce showed a great example of developing revenue, winning new clients and their success was in a significant part driven by a structured focus on people and ensuring the right skills are in place to maximise products

SUBSCRIPTION PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR

The Week Junior

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to Dennis Publishing, The Week Junior continues to prove that there is not only an appetite for print media in 2020, but a love for it by the younger generation. The publication has consistently shown a strong response to readers issues and grew subscriptions in 2019 by 21% Y.O.Y. This was supported by a range of new initiatives such as podcasts/change in wrappers which were a great brand fit seeing the title ending 2019 4% above their target circulation

Highly Commended: Country Life

INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION of the YEAR

Monocle

Judges’ comments: Huge congratulations to the Monocle team for what the judges could clearly see was consistent and attentive promotional activity supported by excellent circulation management.

The brand’s agility saw it expand its global reach through targeted specials, for example ‘’Escapist’’ for world travellers, ‘’Entrepreneurs’’ focussing on the start-up boom, plus spin-offs celebrating design events, such as the ‘’ART BASEL newspaper’.

Together with its print execution the brand strived to further engage with its global readership online, in podcasts, on radio and at events.

In summary, all the judges commended the team for their clear demonstration of the scale, impact and success of a clearly defined strategy to support the brand's global positioning.

BEST USE OF DATA

SUN Savers Segmentation

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to The Sun for their Sun Savers Segmentation. It was an impressively simple and innovative strategy to turn anonymous readers into known users. We were impressed with how reader engagement % and loyalty score are now foundations of all strategic decision with the brand. It is a well thought out customer centric data driven strategy which is guaranteed to become more and more valuable over time.

MAGAZINE of the YEAR (CHILDREN'S)

PONY Magazine

Judges’ comments: Congratulations to DJ Murphy and all at Pony Magazine for their deserved win. We were impressed with their performance in keeping the title relevant after 70 years. Pony listened to their readers introducing measures to improve sustainability in direct response to feedback whilst also growing their presence across social media and newsletters where open rates increased by 46% all helping to further engage with readers. All this combined to deliver increased retail listings and subscriptions growth.

REGIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR

Liverpool Echo

Judges’ comments: Congratulations to Reach Plc and all at The Liverpool Echo for a highly impactful winning entry. We loved their innovative in-paper and events based locally focused promotions and articulation of sizable cost saving achieved through remodelling distribution. The Liverpool Echo excelled with their Champions League activity and made use of the opportunities, engaging their audience selling an additional 87,000 copies and adding to their impressive social media reach. They took sales internationally by creating an online shop to cater for global sales demand linked to coverage of key sporting events. A truly bright light in local news

NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR

Daily Mail

Judges’ comments: Well done to all at The Daily Mail which remains the powerhouse of middle England. Judges were impressed by the significant growth in market share to 25.6%, outstripping market sales performance by 3%. This in no small part to a string of exclusive stories through to emotive litter clearing campaigns with the Great British spring clean and planting 70,000 trees. Engaging with their readers more deeply through My mail grew this to over 1,000,000 members and their focus on independent retailers was further sealed through the work with the NFRN

SUBSCRIPTIONS TEAM OF THE YEAR

Marketing team, Anthem Publishing

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to the marketing team and all at Anthem Publishing who are clearly a committed and unified team achieving excellent results. The judges felt the great team spirit and collaboration demonstrated alongside new initiatives and revenue growth, were superb results for a small team. It was refreshing to hear the team story with and view a very well put together presentation of team structure, dynamics, internal management support and success

LAUNCH OF THE YEAR

Platinum

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to Platinum and all at DC Thomson Media for a clever, targeted launch. Platinum gave a well presented and compelling argument to support their entry with clearly (over) achieved objectives. The judges highly valued the opportunity to see a new launch with two years of research behind it and one that re-defined what the consumer wants. Platinum recognises an important sector that has hitherto been overlooked. Their marketing campaign built awareness and encouraged readers to trial, resulting in an impressive debut.

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR (SPECIALIST INTEREST)

Railway Modeller

Judges’ comments: Congratulations to Railway Modeller and all at Peco who have set a fine example. This long-established brand excelled at utilising new media channels such as social (and celebrity endorsement) to achieve a goal of strong sales efficiencies and regain listings. A key example being 90% sales efficiency on Rod Stewart issue unheard of in a hobby magazine

It remains the UK’s best-selling model railway magazine setting and achieving ambitious targets to grow sales and retrieve lost shelf space.

Highly Commended: Record Collector

SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY OF THE YEAR

Guardian News & Media

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to all at Guardian News & Media who set the standard for firsts in compostable packaging, the first to B Corporation status and have an ambitious 2030 carbon neutral target. Expounding their brand values with an Environmental Pledge gaining engagement from over 100 countries in an increased commitment to focus more on reporting environmental issues. Tremendous

Highly Commended: Menzies Distribution

SUBSCRIPTION CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR

Country Life

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to the team at Country Life who in the face of such strong competition from fellow entrants cheered the judges with a very impressive campaign with all elements continuously tested to constantly optimise the CPA/LTV ratios.

Their incredibly detailed entry was reflective of the attention to detail clearly in evidence in the execution of the campaign and helped the judges see a clear picture of success. Particularly welcomed was their highly effective use of a free issue offer to not only acquire new subs but also ensure they were qualified so would be retained.

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR (MAGAZINE)

Future Publishing - Various Titles

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to the team at Future for a deserved win. The judges commented this was a fine example of collaboration between the retailer, publisher and distributor resulting in creative in-store theatre, compelling consumer offers and sales outperforming the national figure by over 11% with this retailer.

They provided a great case study for successful targeting through customer data and a received a ringing endorsement from the retailer

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR (NEWSPAPER)

Liverpool Echo

Judges’ comments: Congratulations to the Liverpool Echo, their second award this evening and held off some extraordinarily strong competition from National titles. The judges felt the cohesive and joined up promotional strategy was carefully thought through and set in play allowing the title to maximise every sales opportunity. This included a one-off publication generating further sales and brand awareness. The entry provided clear supporting information allowing the judges to recognise such good end to end tactics

Highly Commended: Daily Mail – Spring Clean

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR (LIFESTYLE)

Women’s Running

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to the team at Women’s Running who applied solid customer research to achieve strong results. Judges felt the new cover was very appealing, particularly to the younger audience the title sought to attract. It cannot be lost on the target audience that this was a re-launch and re-design of a magazine by women for women achieving a higher cover price and 59% increase in sales. Readership was further engaged through new awards, supplements and cost-effective promotions whilst the publisher expended concerted efforts to reduce waste helping the bottom line

SUBSCRIPTION REVENUE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

Immediate Media Portfolio

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to the team at Immediate Media for their Portfolio initiative which proved to be a thorough and comprehensive campaign yielding positive results. The judges felt the very solid use of price elasticity measurements to maximise renewal and LTV revenue was exemplary and particularly favoured the win back/cancellation strategy which was simple but highly effective. In summary an extraordinarily complex campaign delivered in a simple way with huge impact on revenues.

NEWSTRAID PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR

Pass It On

Judges’ comments: Our congratulations to Connect Group for their Pass it On initiative which commenced with small ambitions but has gained momentum across the organisation. The judges commended Connect Group for having made a great contribution to helping homeless people through teamwork and collaboration across their network. Pass it On has helped over 700 people and it is energising to see a brave, integrated charitable campaign from one business on a single issue

YOUNG ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR

Annija Strauss

Judges’ comments: Annija set an exceedingly high standard. A raft of endorsements from Publishers, partner companies supporting her entry, described her positive nature as 'infectious' and this was evident across Annija’s entry. Annija clearly excels within her role, she has delivered great revenue for Marketforce’s export business plus her commitment to self-development make her the clear winner.