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Spotlight Awards 2023

On 24 November 2023 agencies, clients and publishers gathered in London for the annual Magnetic Spotlight Awards, where the industry celebrated the most effective campaigns that have run in partnership with magazine brands.

The Spotlight awards recognise and reward advertisers and their agencies in four categories: best use of digital; print: campaign for good; content partnership (large and small budget) and overall, for client and agency of the year.

Chanel was named Client of the Year. A brand committed to uncompromising quality – it uses magazine media as the perfect showcase for its brands. 2023 has seen Chanel increase their use of premium positions in print and dominance of luxury publisher beauty channels online.  A consistent advocate of the publishing sector, Chanel – along with its agency PHD – has long recognised the value of publisher brands and their ability to engage, connect and provide a premium platform for their storytelling.

EssenceMediacom was named Agency of the Year. EssenceMediacom has shown a considerable commitment to the specialist media sector this year and has seen increased growth in responsible investment.  They recognise how the trusted quality environments of magazine media brands can deliver ROI as well as effective, creative campaigns for their clients.

EssenceMediacom also won digital campaign of the year for The Great British Fix Up for eBay.  This partnership with Top Gear showed clever interaction with the consumer through its storytelling, making the campaign relatable and simple to understand. It delivered impressive results deepening eBay’s connection with passionate motorists driving awareness and credibility of their car parts and accessories offering.

For the Second year running OMD took home the best use of print award, this year for Making Christmas UnBEARlievable with Lidl. This was a fun and heartfelt campaign that delivered strong results through its use of print. Using the Lidl Bear as a cover star on the biggest magazines of the year provided the perfect context for an incredibly important call to action at Christmas, encouraging toy donation. 

Campaign for Good was won by MG OMD with Every Story Matters for The UK Covid 19 Inquiry. This was a powerful example of a campaign where magazine media brands were leveraged to inspire behaviour change. The use of trusted and respected titles gave the campaign credibility, raised awareness and prompted the target audience to participate. It drove people directly to the ‘Every Story Matters’ website, and a trackable increase in the number of experiences shared that were directly related to pregnancy during the pandemic. 

Wavemaker won Content Partnership of the Year (large budget) with Becoming the Nation’s Gut Health Coach for Activia. The ‘Gut Feelings’ partnership with Women’s Health leveraged its trusted voice to engage and educate consumers, so they truly understood the benefits of looking after your gut. An experiential element using Women’s Health editorial experts ensured it was a well thought through, multilayered campaign that exceeded all targets. 

PHD won Content Partnership of the Year (small budget) with ‘A Little More Conversation’ for Warner Bros. Discovery.  The partnership with NME and innovative content created a strong link between the digital and print elements of the campaign bringing Elvis into the modern world. It drove relevancy among younger audiences by celebrating his influence on emerging artists and how he continues to inspire popular culture today.

The entries were judged by and highly experienced panel Kayley Cracknell, Head of Advertising, Ovo; Phil Smith, Director General at ISBA; Jenny Sowerby, Director of Marketing (UK & Europe) Sandals; Matt Bourn, Director of Communications, Advertising Association; and Sajeeda Merali, CEO, PPA.

Sajeeda Merali, PPA CEO comments: “Once again the Spotlight awards highlight how great insight, smart ideas, and engaging approaches deliver truly impactful partnerships. Magazine brands work hard for agencies and advertisers, producing highly effective campaigns with exceptional results.”

The winners and shortlist

Client of the Year WINNER: Chanel

Agency of the Year WINNER: EssenceMediacom

Best Use of Print

WINNER: OMD and Lidl with Making Christmas UnBEARlievable


  • m/Six&Partners and Lexus with Lexus RZ Launch
  • PHD and Warner Bros. Discovery with A Little More Conversation
  • Wavemaker and Pluto TV with Converting heavy TV viewers…FAST!
  • The Woodland Trust with Join the Woodland Trust

Best Use of Digital

WINNER: EssenceMediacom and eBay for The Great British Fix Up


  • Dubai Business Events with Bringing events to life in Dubai
  • PHD with Volkswagen ID. Buzz for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
  • Spark Foundry with Clarins Super Restorative for Clarins
  • The Story Lab with Very Joyful Style Jump Start for Very
  • Wavemaker with TfL sparks new trips for Transport for London

Campaign for Good

WINNER: MG OMD and The UK Covid 19 Inquiry with Every Story Matters


  • Omnicom/OmniGOV and HM Government with the Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s “Energy Saving – Help for Households”
  • Ralph Lauren with Pride Love Stories
  • The Woodland Trust with Join the Woodland Trust
  • Zenith and Macmillan Cancer Support with Ditch the Doily

Content Partnership of the Year (large budget)

WINNER:  Wavemaker with Becoming the Nation’s Gut Health Coach for Activia


  • EssenceMediacom and eBay with The Great British Fix Up
  • m/Six&Partners and Lexus with Lexus RZ Launch
  • Mindshare and M&S with Make a Style Statement 
  • OMD and Werther’s with A Little Piece of Warmth
  • PHD and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles with Volkswagen ID. Buzz 
  • Schwarzkopf with Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense
  • Zenith and Macmillan Cancer Support with Ditch the Doily

Content Partnership of the Year (small budget)

WINNER: PHD and Warner Bros. Discovery with A Little More Conversation


  • Avon with Heroing Avon’s Anew Power Eye
  • Love Sugar Science and Park Christmas Savings with Christmas 2023
  • Spark Foundry and Clarins with Clarins Super Restorative
  • the7stars and Sandals with Sandals, leading the way 


Kayley Cracknell

Head of Advertising, Ovo

Phil Smith

Director General at ISBA

Jenny Sowerby

Director of Marketing (UK & Europe), Sandals

Matt Bourn

Director Of Communications, Advertising Association

Sajeeda Merali


Spotlight Awards 2023