MM&M Awards: The Finalists

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It's difficult to believe that the MM&M Awards are barely four years old. During that time, the program has grown at a truly astounding rate and in every way—the volume of submissions, the level of industry support, the attendance at the presentation dinner and, most important of all, in stature. The MM&M Awards have become established as the premier distinction of excellence in healthcare marketing.

But that doesn't happen by accident. Awards programs only work when the entries are judged fairly, independently and with authority, and we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the best work wins. But these are not our awards, they are yours. You enter them, you support them, you judge them and you turn the presentation ceremony into a party to remember. You are the reason they have evolved into the benchmark of fine work.

On the pages that follow you will find the short list of 2007 finalists for each of the 24 Awards categories. Given that this list was first announced August 7 through both mmm-online.com and  MM&M News Brief, I would be surprised if there is anybody reading this now who hasn't already checked if they have made the cut. But one of the reasons we devote so much space in this issue to the lists is to share with you pictures from the judging day on July 16. It is important that you witness the spirit, enthusiasm and diligence with which the judges tackled an entire day of reviewing and scoring the 700-plus submissions. As well as the group shot, you will also find plenty of action pictures of some well-known healthcare marketers studying print ads, poring over laptop displays, handling direct marketing materials and discussing the pros and cons of various submissions. This is the crux of the MM&M Awards judging process. And this is why the program works.

This year we assembled a fabulous panel of some of the finest leaders from every corner of the industry. From the pharma manufacturer side, we welcomed back Charlotte McKines (Merck), Tom Albright (Allergan), Joe Shields (Wyeth), Jennifer Rinaldo (Forest Labs) and Debrorah Dick-Rath (Novartis). Plus we secured the expert services of Mike Pucci (GlaxoSmithKline), Cynthia North (Bayer), Meryl Weinreb (AstraZeneca) and Bernadette Beglin (Schering-Plough).
And from the agency side we were treated to the insights and experience of such luminaries as Mike Trepicchio (Publicis), Steve Viviano (Integrated), Phil Deschamps (GSW Worldwide), Dale Taylor (AbelsonTaylor), Meg Columbia-Walsh (CommonHealth), Louisa Holland (Sudler  & Hennessey), Lita Sands (Ogilvy & Mather Healthcare), Val DiFebo (Deutsch), Ellen Fields (DDB NY), Tom Domanico (Draftfcb Healthcare) and Joe Kutcha (Goble).

While the judges openly discussed the merits of each entry with their respective team members, all scoring was confidential. This way, even the judges don't know the identities of the outright winners. However, all of the award winners will be revealed for the first time at our annual Awards presentation dinner and ceremony at New York's Tavern on the Green, November 1 (see sidebar).

If you entered this year's program—thank you—and I hope your submissions made the cut. If not, you shouldn't let that stop you from enjoying the industry's biggest and best party. The judges and I hope to see you in November.

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