THE Jamaica Observer yesterday triumphed over other media houses to cop the coveted 2012 Media of the Year Award at the Advertising Agency Association of Jamaica's (AAAJ's) annual Media Awards luncheon at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.
The 19-year-old Observer also won the Best Service Agents award for media houses, while the Best Service Agent award went to the Observer's advertising account executive/agent Sharla Murray-Wright — both in the print category.
"We are truly happy with this award and... this is saying to us that we are doing something good and contributing to the media landscape. We are just ecstatic," said Observer Advertising Manager Natalie Chin-Watkins, who reminded guests that the newspaper will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year.
Television Jamaica won the Media of the Year runner-up trophy.
Other media houses, including The Gleaner, CVM-TV and IRIE FM, along with advertising agencies, alternative media houses and printing houses were also presented with awards.
The Media Personality of the Year Award was presented to founder and general manager of Signtex Limited, 74-year-old Joseph Duany, who has been in the business for almost 50 years and is responsible for over 2,200 outdoor signs islandwide.
Guest speaker Barbara Gloudon charged members of the advertising industry to exercise greater creativity in their work and to ensure that advertisements are innovative and creative despite the particular needs of their clients.
"Step back and ask, did I just do that, or does that work? And in the time ahead that is going to come up on you, is it that you are going to be called to be more creative, to work far better with precision and to create something new?" she said. "Too many ads in this country look like too many other ads."
According to Gloudon, one of the problems is that there are too many stereotypes in the industry. This, she said, is very evident in television, but somewhat less in radio.
"One of the things that I've noticed in a lot of television advertisements is that women are either half-naked or very loud," she said, noting that players in the industry must be mindful of the fact that advertisements have a role to play in shaping society.
Another problem she pointed out was the inappropriate use of technology, which should enhance the quality of the product, but is being used carelessly and is contributing to the decrease in creativity.
Media Association of Jamaica President Christopher Barnes said that the media and advertising industries are under pressure as a result of the challenges in the economy and encouraged the Government to restore the confidence of the businesses owners before a downward spiral begins.