Jesse Williams, Deray Mckesson, Wendy Clark, and Linda Boff Revealed as New Webby Judges in 23rd Annual Webby Call for Entries Campaign Beginning Today


Media Contact:
Casey Klurfeld

New Webby Categories for Voice and Social Stories & Series Target Industry’s Most Innovative and Groundbreaking Work

NEW YORK, September 12, 2018 — Hailed as “the Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, the premier award celebrating Internet excellence, launched its 23rd Annual Call for Entries today, introducing a slate of new judges invited to review and select the industry’s most innovative work. The early entry deadline for all categories is Friday, October 26, 2018.

Now in its 23rd year, The Webby Awards continues to add some of the most esteemed and talented experts in their fields, across entertainment, advertising, brands, marketing, media, and technology sectors. Newest members of the Academy judging panel include actor and activist Jesse Williams, GE CMO Linda Boff, Pod Save the People host and activist DeRay McKesson, Google’s Head of Conversation Design Cathy Pearl, Fortnite Designer Eric Williamson, HBO Digital Chief Diane Tryneski, Los Angeles Laker Isaiah Thomas, Spotify Vice President of Brand & Creative Jackie Jantos, DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark, ComScore President Sarah Hofstetter, CNN Senior Tech Correspondent Laurie Segall, Eko Executive Chairman Nancy Tellem, and BuzzFeed Chief Content Officer Melinda Lee.

“We are starting to see the massive impact of artificial intelligence on the Internet that we use every day. Websites, once the dominant interface by which we accessed services and information, are being replaced by new AI-powered apps and interfaces like Voice and AR,” said David-Michel Davies, CEO of Webby Media Group. “No one understands this complex and exhilarating dynamic, and how to recognize real and lasting innovation, better than our Academy—true masters of their craft and pioneers of our collective future on the Internet.”

Voice technology has exploded onto the scene in recent years, with a study this week from Adobe estimating that nearly half of U.S. homes will have a smart, voice-enabled speaker by year’s end. As brands, media companies, and advertisers scramble to reach consumers in what is estimated to soon be a $40 billion market, The Webbys has introduced a suite of new categories honoring innovations across this rapidly emerging platform, including Games and Entertainment, Productivity, and Best User Experience. New IADAS members Cathy Pearl from Google and 360i President Abbey Klaassen will join current members such as Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels, Facebook VP & Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun, Google’s Gradient Ventures Anna Patterson, and CyPhy Works and iRobot Cofounder Helen Grenier to judge this year’s Voice entries.

In addition to Voice, new Webby categories this year include dedicated categories in Podcasts, Games, Virtual Reality, and Branded Entertainment, as well as Social Content Series & Campaigns, honoring outstanding franchise content plays that have redefined the art of storytelling on social platforms.

Back again this year are two company of the year honors—Agency of the Year and Media Company of the Year—most recently won by BBDO New York and National Geographic, respectively. A new award this year for Network of the Year will celebrate the most-honored global advertising network.

“The work in most award shows gives you a sense of where creativity has been over the past year,” said Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer of BBDO New York, a three-time Webby Agency of the Year Winner. “The work that wins a Webby gives you a sense of where creativity is going.”

The Early Entry Deadline to submit work for Webby Award consideration is Friday, October 26, 2018, at Entrants can submit work across categories including:

  • Websites
  • Video
  • Advertising, Media & PR
  • Apps, Mobile, and Voice
  • Social
  • Podcasts
  • Games

In 2017, The Webby Awards received more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide, capping off the biggest celebration of the innovators, entertainers, and visionaries on the Internet last year. This year’s entrants will have the chance to join past Webby Winners like Netflix, The New Yorker, Spotify, Fortnite, Peloton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mitchell Baker, Kourtney Kardashian, Game of Thrones, and HBO NOW, among others.

All entrants compete for The Webby Award (as voted on by IADAS) and The Webby People’s Voice Award (as voted on by fans). Last year, more than 700,000 Internet fans from more than 230 countries and territories around the world cast their votes. For more information on the 23rd Annual Webby Awards and to enter, please visit

Find The Webby Awards Online:
Twitter: @TheWebbyAwards
Instagram: @TheWebbyAwards
Snapchat: TheWebbyAwards

About The Webby Awards:
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites; Video; Advertising, Media & PR; Apps, Mobile, and Voice; Social; Podcasts; and Games. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: YouTube, WP Engine, Vitamin T, EY, YouGov, Paramount Network, PUBLIC, ESA, WNYC Studios, Fast Company, Product Hunt, and Social Media Week.