The Australian Magazine Awards, an initiative by Yaffa Publishing Group to replace the now redundant MPA Awards, were announced last Friday.
Better Homes and Gardens was crowned the Magazine of the Year at the inaugural event a presentation breakfast at the Centennial Parklands Restaurant.
As reported in AdNews, the popular Pacific Magazines title was a clear choice for the top AMA prize having made substantial gains in subscription, readership and advertising volume despite coming off a high base amid challenging market conditions.
The magazine posted a 10.4 per cent year-on-year increase in circulation in the June 2009 Audit Bureau of Circulations report representing the biggest circulation increase of any magazine. Sales hit 370,000, making it the third best-selling magazine in Australia.
Roy Morgan figures revealed the magazine's readership increased by 2.3 per cent in the same period, to 1.74 million - its seventh consecutive reporting of year-on-year growth.
However, the most impressive results were in advertising volume, with a 19 per cent increase in the year to June 2009, according to Nielsen AdEx.
The panel of judges, led by Fusion Strategy's Steve Allen, said the strength in numbers "overwhelmingly stated" Better Homes and Gardens' case for Magazine of the Year.
The magazine beat finalists Shop Til You Drop (ACP Magazines) and Delicious (News Magazines) for the top gong, contested from among the 15 AMA category winners.
Better Homes & Gardens had earlier won the Home & Garden category, while Shop Til You Drop and Delicious were judged the best Women's Lifestyle and Food & Entertainment titles respectively.
The AMA program, did not solicit entries, rather the titles were appraised on set criteria including circulation and readership growth, advertising volume, editorial content and design and front cover.
Guest speaker Estee Lauder Australia MD Terry Little, spoke of the continued vitality of magazines as an advertising medium for brands that need to engage with consumers in a meaningful way.
In the welcoming speech AdNews editor Matt Porter said it was crucial the AMAs were "as inclusive, transparent and robust as possible".
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