Four Asia Pacific publishers were among the seven which took two or more first-place awards at the recent INMA awards.
Enjoying an especially good night were Fairfax Media New Zealand with three golds. News Corp Australia, the Mumbai Mirror(part of India's Bennett, Coleman & Co giant) and Singapore Press Holdings' theStraits Times were also victorious with two gold awards each.
Fairfax Media New Zealand, which won gold for best use of consumer research for its 'Communities Refresh' project; and for best new corporate innovation initiative for 'News Rewired -- Writing Our Next Chapter'; with Wellington-based Fairfax unitWaikato Times/Stuff.co.nz taking the prize for best video category for 'All In'.
NZME'sNew Zealand Heraldalso won gold for the best idea to grow advertising sales or retain advertising clients for 'NZME Advertising Challenge 2015'.
Having scored 13 finalist places in the nominations announced in March - more than any other country than the US - News Corp Australia might have been disappointed to come away with only two top awards. Metro tabloids The Advertiser, theCourier-Mail, theDaily TelegraphandHerald Sun won 'best brand awareness' for their 'Project Icon' campaign, andThe Australiantook their 'best marketing solution for an advertising client' category for a campaign for GE.
In India, theMumbai Mirror's'Mumbai Heroes' won best brand awareness, regional/local; and the 'Mumbai Mirror Girls Soccer League' was judged the best idea to encourage print readership or engagement.
Singapore Press Holdings' two golds went for best execution of print advertising for 'The Interactive Newspapers', and for best new concept to incubate products or ideas for theStraits TimesInnovation Lab.
The Fairfax Media NZ 'News rewired' project was also judged best in the Asia-Pacific, withMumbai Mirror's'Mumbai Heroes' best in the South Asia region. Overall winner was Sweden'sSvenska Dagbladet,for 'The Pyramid'.
The awards dinner was held in the Raphael Gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum, with dinner guests surrounded by the great artworks of the 15th Century in a building opened in 1857, a time when the UK's newspaper industry was itself on a growth spurt.
The 40 first place awards honoured the world's most innovative initiatives to grow audience, revenue and brand in the emerging multiplatform ecosystem, and were presented by president Mark Challinor.
The competition generated 699 entries from 264 news brands in 40 countries. This year's Silver Shovel award went to Polish media executive and Harvard University Nieman Fellow Grzegorz Piechota.
"It was an amazing spectacle to behold - the world's top media industry innovation initiatives presented amid the splendour of the world's leading museum of art and design," said INMA executive director and chief executive Earl Wilkinson. "Despite enormous transformational challenges, media companies are finding new ways to connect with audiences and advertisers across platforms."