The inaugural British Asian Media (BAM) Awards saw the South Asian media and advertising fraternity come together to celebrate and felicitate diversity, emerging trends and campaigns which empower the South Asian media industry.
The BAM Awards created a movement within the industry, to empower and recognise the collective efforts of channels, agencies and media partners. Amongst the winners was journalist and writer Aatish Taseer, who won the Journalist of the Year Award, for his critically acclaimed opinion pieces and columns in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The Sunday Times, along with his renowned books The Way Things Were, Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands and Noon, which unite classical South Asian traditions with the bustling life of the modern day sub-continent.
Accepting the award from Lord Swraj Paul and journalist Ashis Ray, Aatish said: “It is a very emotional moment for me as I started my career at a magazine in Strand, and today I am winning the British Asian Media Awards at the Great Hall in Strand. Through the awards, it is my hope and desire that the Asian media industry keeps UK’s cosmopolitanism alive.”
The award which took place under the aegis of the India Gazette at the historic Great Hall at the Kings College, championed diversity through the LGBT Champion of the Year. The prized Director of the London Indian Film Festival Cary Sawhney won the LGBT Champion of the Year for his brave and subversive selections in bringing LGBT South Asian cinema into the mainstream. Accepting the award, he said: “Thank you to the BAM Awards for this pioneering award its really wonderful that mine and others work on diversity equality is being honoured, in an Asian community context.”
Star Plus was presented with the Media Channel of the Year Award by Lord Swraj Paul and Loknath Mishra, CEO, ICICI Bank UK Plc, while Sony Entertainment Television picked up the award for best Reality Show of the Year for the record-breaking Indian Idol Season 10 from singer Juggy D.
Coming to the news genre NDTV 24×7 retained its position as the most trusted and leading Indian news channel by winning BAM’s Indian News Channel of the Year Award.
Two special awards were given – the Media Impact of the Year Awardwhich was conferred upon Tony Lit MBE for his contribution to the British Asian media industry; and The Diversity Champion of the Year was awarded to the head of Sky Multicultural Debarshi Pandit, who has been instrumental in the drive for positive cultural change, by bringing onboard new ethnic advertisers who have come on board at Sky when it aired the Indian Premier League cricket, ICC Champions Trophy, Pro Kabaddi League including unique targeting opportunities through Sky AdSmart.
When it came to the Pakistani News Channel of the Year – Dunya Newswalked away with the Popular Pakistani News Channel of the Year for its impressive performance in a short span of 2 years, while Geo News won the Pakistani News Channel of the Year – Industry award for its unparalleled journalism. B4U Music walked away with the Music Channel of the Year.
Felicitating South Asian marketing campaigns – TRS Foods won the Marketing Campaign of the Year for their 360-degree multimedia approach through their Bollywood-inspired Lovers of Flavour Campaign.
Westmill’s Spread the Joy with Tolly Boy campaign which struck an emotional chord with the African and Bangladeshi community won the Charity / Community Campaign of the Year.
For their persistent presence on key South Asian properties across TV, radio and outdoor – Southall Travel’s won the Marketing Brand of the Year. The Advertising Agency of the Year Award which recognised the work by full service multicultural agencies was won by Here and Now 365.The award was open to all IPA accredited advertising agencies.
Recognising the importance of emerging technologies and media platforms, for the first time OTT platforms were recognised with Eros Now winning the OTT Platform of the Year. Pranab Kapadia, President Distribution at Eros International Ltd collected the award from Martin Day MP and Juggy D.
The awards were officially launched earlier in the day at the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising amongst a select industry audience; and was supported by ICICI Bank UK Plc, Kings College London and the India Gazette.
The awards were hosted by television presenter Natasha Asghar and was attended by Tim Jones CBE, newly-appointed Executive Director, Tata Limited, Dinesh Dhamija (Founder Ebookers), Gaurav Jandwani (Senior Vice President & Business Head-Star Network UK), Manish Tiwari (Managing Director Here and Now 365), Sajjad Shawl (Alliance Advertising and Marketing), Rakesh Oberoi (Account Director, Westmill Foods), Derek Martin (Marketing Manager TRS), Shalin Patel (Vice President – Business Head Europe at Sony Pictures Entertainment), Miyrah Mistry (Marketing Manager at Sony Pictures Entertainment), Vasdev Tuli (Sales Director, Indiacast Media), Shafi Rahman (Editor India Gazette) and jury members Vinod Warrier (Business Director GTB) and Subhash Ghosh (Founder Lemon Connect).
The BAM Awards acknowledges the growing and persistent influence of different cultures and communities living in the UK. The Asian media and advertising industry is worth more than £50 million in net value, and Asian journalists have been a part of the media growth story in the UK. While some have carved a niche for themselves within the mainstream, many have contributed to their countries of origin as well through international coverage and contributing to various South Asian media houses.
The Awards hopes to provide a platform and promote talent from the very vibrant South Asian community living in the UK, through an independent jury consisting of television presenter Natasha Asghar, head of Sky Multicultural Debarshi Pandit, Business Director GTB Vinod Warrier, Founder Lemon Connect Subhash Ghosh and journalist Shafi Rahman.