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She says the decision to include non members is in response to multiple requests from agencies and content providers not within the customer publishing space.
"Moreover, as the APA has grown in profile internationally, we have also received many requests from publishing agencies outside the UK to widen the Effectiveness Awards' (as was) entry remit. The UK is widely considered as one of the strongest markets for editorialised branded content and we have frequently been told that non-UK agencies would relish the opportunity to have their work measured and judged against our members. We responded by launching the International Customer Publishing Awards, which recognise outstanding editorialised branded content, irrespective of territory."
While unable to comment about which African countries didn't make the shortlist, she says next year's entrants must focus on the effectiveness of their editorial.
"The judges found it frustrating this year to be unable to award entries that just didn't include robust results. Even if the strategy was innovative, exciting and creative, the lion's share of the judging criteria is based on the return the editorialisation of brand generates, whether loyalty, sales, footfall or brand awareness."
Explaining how they made the cut, Sumien Brink, Woolworths TASTE editor and editorial director at New Media Publishing, says, "TASTE is an exquisite food magazine that can hold its own among the world's best food magazines in terms of content, creativity and production values. Secondly, TASTE has shown clearly how it serves the purposes of the client in terms of quality, innovation and value and drive sales of Woolworths products.
"Our research has shown that 75% of readers buy products at Woolworths as a direct result of seeing it in TASTE magazine. A typical example is our cover with the broad beans. Once that cover was on news stand, sales of broad beans doubled as a result in stores countrywide and whereas before Woolworths might have stopped stocking broad beans because of poor sales, the company has now reversed that decision entirely. TASTE has proven that it works for both the client and the reader or customer."
According to Brink, TASTE's website goes live on 1 December 2009. "It promises to be the ultimate site for foodies looking for TASTE recipes of the last 6 years but that's not all."