As one of the judges at this year's a4uAwards, I've been impressed by the standard of entries from merchants, publishers, networks and agencies. The shortlist for the awards ceremony (to be held in London on June 2) has just been announced. 

Having read through dozens of awards submissions as part of the judging process, it's clear that affiliate marketing is becoming a more strategic and integral part of many businesses.

And it is heartening to see so many companies putting a real emphasis on understanding the incremental value offered by affiliates and the role this channel plays within the wider marketing mix. 

Businesses shortlisted by the judging panel include a number of well known retail and travel brands including Argos, Debenhams and Thomas Cook, as well as established digital giants such as Play.com and Lastminute.com. 

Affiliate Window, sponsors of our UK Affiliate Census, are up against AffiliateFuture, LinkShare and Webgains for the 'innovative network of the year' category, while the 'innovative publisher of the year' winner will come from Easy Content Units, NetMediaPlanet, Quidco, Skimlinks and VoucherCodes.co.uk.   

Matthew Wood, founder of the a4uAwards, said: “Affiliate Marketing is most definitely a core part of many brands’ marketing armoury now and as consumers continue to choose and buy online, the need for effective digital marketing has never been so high.

“With some of the UK’s biggest brands included in the shortlists, the judges were faced with a very high quality of entries, showing a diverse use of the channel as well as a focus on direct relationships between advertisers and affiliates.”

The June 2 event, hosted by up-and-coming comedian Jason Manford, promises to be an exciting night.
For those who want to learn more about the £4 billion affiliate marketing industry, Econsultancy's Affiliate Marketing Buyer's Guide 2009, containing profiles of the leading networks and agencies, has recently been published. 
Here are the shortlisted companies for some of the key a4uAwards categories:
Innovative Merchant of the Year
Books Direct Buyagift.com CreditExpert PrezzyBox
Innovative Publisher of the Year
Easy Content Units NetMediaPlanet
Quidco
Skimlinks
VoucherCodes.co.uk
Innovative Affiliate Network of the Year
Affiliate Window  AffiliateFuture LinkShare Webgains
Publishers' Choice of Affiliate Network
affilinet AffiliateFuture Affiliate Window DGM Paid on Results TradeDoubler Webgains
Best New Entrant in Affiliate Marketing
Harveys musicMagpie Oasis Skimlinks The It Guide
Best Use of Affiliate Marketing as part of integrated campaign
Argos Elemis LOVEFiLM Play.com SKY
Affiliate Marketing Digital Media Agency of 2009
BLM Quantum I-Level R.O.EYE
Best Use of Technology within Affiliate Marketing
Affmeter Awin Analytics Coull TV Easy Content Units Skimlinks
Retail (merchant)
Argos Debenhams JD Williams LOVEFiLM PrezzyBox Red Letter Days
Travel & Leisure (merchant)
Fly Thomas Cook Haven Holidays Lastminute.com

Linus Gregoriadis

Published 22 May, 2009 by Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis is Research Director at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

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