London, 9 December 2009

first direct was named a winner in three categories today as Econsultancy announced the results of its 2009 Innovation Awards.

The online bank was recognised for best innovation in Online PR and Multichannel Marketing, while also winning the Best Online Advertising Campaign category.

The bank, which shows both negative and positive consumer sentiment on its ‘first direct live’ microsite, impressed the judges with its successful use of social media and its integrated advertising campaign to encourage people to talk honestly about its brand.

Tesco, Comet, IBM and eBay were also among the winners in Econsultancy’s annual awards which recognise the smartest new ideas and achievements across digital marketing and e-commerce.

The digital agency Essence won the awards for Most Innovative Digital Agency and for Rich Media and Video. It won the Rich Media category for the YouTube HomeProject Channel, which enabled people to watch a full feature film about the global environmental challenge online. won the award for Innovation in Email Marketing for its campaigns which provided personalised shopping lists to customers based on their in-store and online purchase history.

IBM won the Innovation in B2B Digital Marketing award for its augmented reality mobile phone technology which enhanced the Wimbledon experience by providing useful data about the tennis tournament as well as information which helped people to avoid queues.

The same technology, called Seer, earned IBM a commendation in the Most Innovative New Technology category.

eBay Partner Network won the Affiliate Marketing award for breaking away from the traditional affiliate cost-per-acquisition payment model and launching a new “quality based” Cost Per Click (CPC) payout method.

Entries were judged by an international panel from companies known for innovation such as Honda, The Guardian,, Orange, Mindshare, Channel 4, Google, Isobar, PHD Media, Unilever and Poke, as well as digital gurus Avinash Kaushik, Jeremiah Owyang, Sidharth Rao and Dr. Dave Chaffey.

The judges also included Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein, Research Director Linus Gregoriadis, Editor-in-Chief Chris Lake, and Senior Research Analyst Jake Hird.

The full list of winners and judges’ comments is on the Econsultancy blog.

List of winners and highly commended entries by category:

Innovation in Affiliate Marketing
Winner: eBay Partner Network
Highly commended: Skimlinks

Innovation in B2B Digital Marketing
Winner: IBM

Innovation in E-commerce
Winner: Glasses Direct
Highly commended: UpClick

Innovation in Email Marketing
Highly commended: Silverpop

Innovation in Lead Generation Online
Winner: European Directories and Skype

Innovation in Mobile Marketing
Winner: Marvellous Ideas
Highly commended: Incentivated
Highly commended: KODIME

Innovation in Multichannel Marketing
Winner: first direct
Highly commended: DSB Danish Railways / Wunderman / Agillic

Innovation in Online Customer Service
Winner: CACI
Highly commended: BT

Innovation in Online Marketing Research or Customer Insight
Winner: InSites Consulting UK
Highly commended: Somatica Digital

Innovation in Online PR
Winner: first direct

Innovation in Paid Search/PPC
Winner: Summit Media / Comet

Innovation in Rich Media and Video
Winner: Essence

Innovation in SEO/Natural Search
Winner: Majestic-12

Innovation in Social Media
Winner: Storm Ideas
Highly commended: Independents United

Innovation in User Experience
Winner: Enhanced Editions Ltd
Highly commended: MixMatchMe

Innovation in Web Analytics and Optimization
Winner: Fresh Egg

Innovation in Web Content Management
Winner: Aqueduct & Poke

Most Innovative Digital Agency
Winner: Essence

Most Innovative Digital Marketing Team
Winner: eSpares

Most Innovative Online Advertising Campaign
Winner: first direct
Highly commended: Tangent One

Most Innovative New Technology
Winner: ipadio
Highly commended: IBM


Media contact:
Clare Laurie (
t: +44 (0)20 7269 1452

Notes to editors:

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help a community of over 80,000 registered marketers make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers.

About the Econsultancy Innovation Awards (

Innovation Awards 2009 shortlist (

Published on: 5:05PM on 9th December 2009