Unerman and Singh to head up Effectiveness Awards’ judging panel

Working with the IPA, the Convenors will help encourage high-quality Awards entries.

Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer at MediaCom, will be Convenor of Judges for the 2020 IPA Effectiveness Awards with Harjot Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, Europe & UK at McCann Worldgroup, as Deputy.

Awards' launch coincides with EffWeek Conference

The Awards will launch with a call for entries on 15 October, coinciding with the cross-industry EffWeek Conference. The pair will oversee the Awards, regarded as the most rigorous of their kind worldwide because they require entrants to prove convincingly the financial payback from communications activity.

Working with the IPA and the Chair of Judges, the Convenors will help encourage high-quality Awards entries and oversee separate panels of industry, technical and client judges in choosing the winners.

Says Convenor of Judges Sue Unerman, “The Awards are the ideal opportunity to demonstrate to potential clients and the wider business public the great range of ways in which today’s communications build value for brands and organisations.

“I am looking forward to seeing entries from businesses of all types and sizes that can demonstrate brilliantly effective work.”

Says Deputy Convenor of Judges Harjot Singh, “Effectiveness is the real measure of all communications. The judges will be looking for engaging stories and concrete proof of how creative, media and strategic elements are being brought together in innovative ways to meet clients’ goals.”

Entries to the Awards are open to any communications agency, media owner or advertiser worldwide, and can feature a breadth of marketing activity involving any product category, country or size of budget.

New to the 2020 Awards will be Nigel Vaz’s President’s Prize, for the ‘Best Contribution to Effectiveness through Technology’ by reimagining how a brand engages with its consumers.

The IPA will provide downloadable resources and events to help entrants from launch to the Awards deadline on 31 March 2020.

Revving up Effectiveness

There will also be an EffWeek satellite event about the Awards on the morning of Friday 18th October. The event will include the first showing of a short film, produced in collaboration with Thinkbox, about the 2018 Grand Prix-winning case featuring Audi.

Speakers will include:

  • Peter Field, author of ‘Effectiveness in Context
  • Vas Kourakis, Global Director, Marketing ROI at L’Oréal and 2018 Gold-winning author
  • Will Lion, Managing Partner, Strategy, BBH, and author of the 2018 Grand Prix-winning entry
  • Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer, MediaCom, and 2020 Convenor of Judges
  • Harjot Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, Europe & UK, McCann Worldgroup and 2020 Deputy Convenor of Judges

The event is free but registration is required. 

See further details and register for Revving up Effectiveness


The 2020 IPA Effectiveness Awards are sponsored by Facebook, Google, Newsworks, System 1 Group, Thinkbox, and Warc.

Key competition dates

  • October 15th-18th, EffWeek: Entry pre-registration opens and dedicated awards event on Fri, 18th October
  • January 29, 2020: Entry pre-registration closes
  • March 31st, 2020: Closing date for all entries
  • October 2020: Awards ceremony

Discounts and advice

  • Papers pre-registering before the 29th January – are eligible for 15% discount off final entry cost; and can sign up for Awards Advisory Mentoring.
  • Any IPA member agency that hasn’t entered the awards in the past is being offered access to a free Awards Advisory Service for help with writing entry papers.

About the Convenors

Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer, MediaCom

In the rapidly changing world of media, Sue has been ahead of the curve for three decades.

She has helped advertisers, such as Mars, DFS, Direct Line Group, Tesco, Merlin Entertainment and Sky, to connect with consumers by
Sue set up the first strategic planning unit in a media agency and pioneered the use of integrated communications planning.

Her work has been instrumental to MediaCom’s number one position in its sector. Sue has also been named “Planner of the Year” by Campaign more occasions than anyone else.

In recent years, Sue has contributed to public debates about business, diversity, and ethics.

Her 2016 book, ‘The Glass Wall’, (co-authored with Pearl and Dean CEO Kathryn Jacob), was widely extracted and praised as an invaluable guide book for businesses that want to develop better the women who work for them.

Her previous book, ‘Tell the Truth, Honesty is your most powerful marketing tool’ was described by Campaign as “one of the most influential marketing books of 2012”.

She has been included on the FT Heroes list of women who have championed gender equality at work and on The Drum’s list of women who have defined digital marketing over the last 25 years.
Outside marketing, Sue has been a member of the UK Government’s Digital Advisory Board, the Open University Council, and the Key Supporters Group of Women’s Aid.

Sue has an advice column in Grazia on #winningatwork and blogs at www.sueunerman.com

She is working on a new book about the next steps to achieving Diversity and Belonging at work.

(Her name is pronounced “You-ner-man”)

Harjot Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, Europe & UK, McCann World Group EMEA

Over the last 20 years, Harjot has lived and worked in six countries across three continents delivering and shaping strategy solutions for some of the world’s most successful brands.

Clients and colleagues consistently credit him with adeptly bringing clarity and inspiration from the complex, skilfully placing human and brand needs at the heart of any marketing response, and delivering measurable impact.

As Chief Strategy Officer of Europe and UK, Harjot leads strategy teams in 21 countries across all McCann Worldgroup disciplines. He also oversees the design, management and activation of content from Truth Central EMEA -the regional outpost of McCann Worldgroup's proprietary, global intelligence unit.

Under his leadership, McCann Worldgroup EMEA has been ranked The Most Effective Agency Network in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 by the Effies, The Most Effective Agency Network by in the 2018 IPA Effectiveness Awards, and 2019 Network of the Year by Warc.

Last updated 21 January 2022