beacon 2023 | $10,000 for Inspiring Individual

Warner Bros. Discovery Announce $10,000 Prize for Inspiring Individuals in Advertising Industry

Comms Council and Warner Bros. Discovery seek to recognise outstanding leadership, mentoring, or coaching skills in the advertising industry with the Sandy Smith Inspiring Individual Award. This prestigious award is named in honour of the late Sandy Smith, who was a pioneering figure in the New Zealand advertising industry.

The recipient of the award, to be announced at the beacon awards show on Thursday 15 June 2023, will receive $10,000 to further their education and gain additional experience and knowledge that they can share with others. The award recognises individuals who are often referred to as the "unsung heroes" within their organisation, as they inspire their peers through their generosity of spirit, patience, willingness, and passion.

The Inspiring Individual Award celebrates the outstanding leadership, mentoring, or coaching skills of individuals within the advertising industry, regardless of their position or job title. The inaugural award recipient was Richard Fenner, at SparkPHD. Among the other notable recipients are Liz Fraser, who was GM of at the time and chairwoman of the IAB, Alistair Jamison, CEO of Starcom & VivaKi NZ, Louise Bond, CEO of SparkPHD in 2013, Claire Harris from Nielsen in 2014, Chrissy Payne of OMD in 2015, Julia-Ann Hedges in 2016, Matt Bale, Co-founder of MBM in 2017, Robert Harvey, CEO of Dentsu in 2018, Anne Lipsham, Head of Strategy at FCB Media in 2019, Sean McCready, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at MBM in 2021, and Gina McKinnon, CEO of OMG Content NZ/APAC in 2022.

To nominate an individual for the award, it is necessary to provide an explanation as to why the person is deserving of the honour. The nomination form can be downloaded here. Completed nominations should be sent to by 4pm on Wednesday 10 May 2023.

The Sandy Smith Inspiring Individual Award is a highly coveted prize in the industry. It is a testament to the recipient's hard work, dedication, and inspiring leadership. It is a unique opportunity for the winner to enhance their professional development and make an even greater impact on the industry.