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Webby Awards Set Stage For First Annual Business Awards with Finalists Announced Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

For Immediate Release

Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@mkpr.com

Jill Feldman, jill@mkpr.com

Michael Kaminer Public Relations, 212.627.8098

WEBBY AWARDS SET STAGE FOR FIRST ANNUAL BUSINESS AWARDS
WITH FINALISTS ANNOUNCED TODAY

BMW’s Mini USA Site Leads with Three Nominations

http://www.webbyawards.com/businessawards/finalists.html

San Francisco, CA – October 29, 2003
Providing powerful proof of how the web continues to transform American business, The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences today unveiled an impressive and diverse list of finalists for The 1st Annual Webby Business Awards.

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.

Spotlighting both powerful blue-chip companies like UPS www.ups.com (Best Cost-Cutting), Sprite Remix www.spriteremix.com (Best Food & Beverage), and Cisco Systems www.cisco.com (Best IT & Technical Services) and tenacious upstarts like POM Wonderful www.pomwonderful.com (Best Branding & Design) and Orange Exposure www.orangeexposure.com (Best Online/Offline Experience), the roster of finalists reveals 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 finalists in more than 19 categories can be found online at: http://www.webbyawards.com/businessawards/finalists.html.

The Webby Business Awards are judged by members of The Academy including Guy Kawasaki, Clement Mok, Red Burns, Howard Rheingold, and Anita Roddick. Judging is based on strategic criteria (objective, innovation, market situation, resources, success) and creative criteria (content, structure & navigation, visual design/branding, functionality, interactivity). All final votes are tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers to insure fairness and accuracy.

“Online business has become so sophisticated and matured so significantly that it was necessary to create a separate awards program specifically devoted to recognizing the best in business on the web,” said Tiffany Shlain, founder and creative director of The Webby Awards. “By showcasing what works, The Webby Business Awards will play an important role in advancing best practices.”

“The finalists for The 1st Annual Webby Business Awards demonstrate that the web is no longer just one small part of a business plan,” said Maya Draisin, the executive director of The Academy. “Instead, the web has become a driving force for overall strategy, positively impacting the bottom line and dramatically changing the way companies of all sizes do business.”

Leading the list of finalists is BMW’s Mini USA www.miniusa.com, home of its wildly popular Mini Cooper, which was nominated in three categories – Best Automotive, Best Branding & Design, and Best Online/Offline Experience.

Four other sites received more than one nomination including:

  • eDiets www.ediets.com for Best Healthcare Site and Best Customization
  • Southwest Airlines www.iflyswa.com for Best Travel & Tourism Site and Best Cost-Cutting
  • Salesforce.com www.salesforce.com for Best IT Site and Best CRM Site
  • KidBuilding www.kidbuilding.org, the building services site for the Boy & Girls Club of America, for Best Cost-Cutting and The “Good Deeds” Award

The “Good Deeds” Award recognizes the most effective non-profit or cause-related site. In addition to KidBuilding www.kidbuilding.org, finalists in this category are March Of Dimes www.marchofdimes.com, and Mercy Corps’ site for aid to Iraqi families www.mercycorps.org/iraq.

Winners of The 1st Annual Webby Business Awards will be announced on November 18th and honored at a December 9th celebration 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.

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 – recognizing sites that visitors go to daily for information, entertainment, community, products and services. For more information, please visit http://www.webbyawards.com/main/submit/index.html. 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.

A list of all finalists in more than 19 categories can be found at:
http://www.webbyawards.com/businessawards/finalists.html

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