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Honoring Best in Business Online, First Annual Webby Business Awards Unveil Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@mkpr.com

Jill Feldman, jill@mkpr.com

Michael Kaminer Public Relations, 212.627.8098

HONORING BEST IN BUSINESS ONLINE,

FIRST ANNUAL WEBBY BUSINESS AWARDS UNVEIL WINNERS

MINI USA Site Wins Two Webby Business Awards;
Other Honorees Include Sprite Remix, Bankrate.com, and Apple iTunes

http://www.webbyawards.com/effectiveness/

 

San Francisco, CA – November 18, 2003
With a sharp focus on how the web benefits the bottom line at companies of all sizes, The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences today unveiled the winners of the first-ever Webby Business Awards.

Leading the list of winners is MINI USA www.miniusa.com, a division of BMW, which was honored in two categories – Best Branding & Design and Best Automotive. Praised by the Academy judges for its “infectious spirit,” the site was recognized for the central role it played in the MINI’s wildly successful U.S. launch, generating over 15,000 qualified sales leads and encouraging more than 75% of owners to register and actively use the site.

The Webby Business Awards honor companies that excel at using the web as a mature tool to achieve critical business goals. The awards are produced by The Academy, which also presents the annual Webby Awards, now in their eighth year. The Academy launched the Webby Business Awards last fall as a separate awards program aimed at recognizing the best business practices online.

Other winners, from blue-chip companies like Sprite Remix www.spriteremix.com (Best Food & Beverage) to upstarts like Orange Exposure www.orangeexposure.com (Best Online/Offline Experience), reveal how companies of all sizes and in all industries have built profits, increased market share, and reduced costs by making the web a pillar of their business. A list of all winners in 19 categories can be found below and online at
http://www.webbyawards.com/effectiveness/

The Webby Business Awards are judged by members of The Academy, including designer Clement Mok; Red Burns, Chair of the New York University Interactive Telecommunications Program; Guy Kawasaki, founder of Garage.com; Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs; and Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

“The Webby Business Awards winners confirm that the web has arrived as a mature, sophisticated business tool,” said Tiffany Shlain, founder and creative director of The Webby Awards. “These companies prove that online imagination and creativity can go hand-in-hand with profits and success.”

“The Webby Business Awards winners are setting the standards for how business is being conducted both online and off,” said Maya Draisin, the executive director of The Academy. “They are providing new models for how the web can be used for everything from cutting costs to boosting customer loyalty. Any company that wants to build their business will want to study this list of winners closely.”

The Good Deeds Award, which honors the most effective non-profit or cause-related site, was presented to KidBuidling www.kidbuilding.org, the Boys & Girls Club of America’s building services site. KidBuilding.org has dramatically streamlined the facility planning process by providing an online resource that helps local organizations determine needs, select sites, and estimate costs, resulting in an average savings of 120 person-hours per month.

Judging for The Webby Business Awards is based on strategic criteria, which focus on the business objectives behind a web site, and creative criteria, which focus on the execution of the business initiative online. All final votes are tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers to insure fairness and accuracy.

Winners of The 1st Annual Webby Business Awards will be honored at a December 9th reception in San Francisco benefiting One-Economy www.one-economy.com, a national non-profit using technology to help low-income people build assets and raise their standard of living.

The event will also feature PUSH: An Innovation Showcase sponsored by Semaphore Partners, Publicis’ premier provider of interactive services. While the Webby Business Awards honor the best in online business now, PUSH recognizes three companies that are defining “what’s next” in interactivity. The innovations being recognized are: There.com http://www.there.com, a community where users can create avatars and engage in activities from biking to shopping; Knoll’s A3i web site, http://www.knoll.com/a3i/launch_flash.html, a visualization tool for Knoll’s A3 office furniture; and Google http://www.google.com, a search tool portfolio that continues to evolve online business.

While entries are not currently being accepted for The 2nd Annual Webby Business Awards, the Academy is accepting entries for The 8th Annual Webby Awards, which recognizes sites that visitors go to daily for information, entertainment, community, products and services. For more information, please visit http://www.webbyawards.com/index.php. The final deadline for submissions for The 8th Annual Webby Awards is December 19, 2003.

About the Webby Awards

Founded in 1996, The Webby Awards is the leading international honors for consumer Web sites and individual achievement in technology and creativity. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences selects the nominees, winners, and presents the awards event. Sponsors of The 8th Annual Webby Awards include media partners Business 2.0, Fortune and Fortune Small Business magazines; Event partners PricewaterhouseCoopers and Nielsen//NetRatings; Official Sponsors The Creative Group, IDG, Semaphore Partners, Comstock Images, and Rackspace Managed Hosting. For more information visit http://www.webbyawards.com.

About the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences is dedicated to the creative, technical, and professional progress of the Internet and evolving forms of interactive media. The Academy’s goal is to assemble a brilliant panel of leading new media experts, visionaries, journalists, and luminaries to propel the Internet and Interactive Technology into the future. The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes over 480 members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, “The Simpsons”creator Matt Groening, “Smart Mobs” author Howard Rheingold, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, and The Body Shop president Anita Roddick. Members also include web developers, internet experts and technology writers and editors from publications such as The New York Times, Business 2.0, Fortune, Spin, Fast Company, Travel + Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, Dwell and AdAge. For more information, visit http://www.iadas.net.

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