Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

AOP Interactive Publishing Awards Dinner and Presentation 2002

9 Oct 2002
17.30 to late
Millennium Mayfair
Grosvenor Square, London W1

Event Description

AOP Awards 2002

Best business product or service

Winner: – eFinancial News is the daily online service of sister weekly newspaper Financial News, and has been one of the most successful sites in Europe in making the transition to a paid-for service. It is a leading specialist online news service for the investment banking and securities industries in Europe and, in a very tough, discriminating market, has firmly established itself as a key source of news and information about the industry.

Judges’ comments:
“ is way ahead in proving the online magazine subscription model and have achieved a very broad reach without being ‘cannibalistic’. The statistic that, out of 28,000 subscribers, 23,000 are new demonstrates this.”

Shortlisted: – Haymarket Business Publications – Estates Gazette Group – Emap Business International - Air Transport Intelligence – Reed Business International – TSL Education Ltd by News International – Emap Business International

Best consumer product or service

Winner: – Haymarket Motor Publications is the digital arm of the What Car? brand, and was completely rebuilt and launched in August 2001. The site was created as a digital brand carrying the values of the paper products in a way as to exploit all the revenue opportunities available to What Car? in a digital environment. Haymarket Motor Publications has devised a format for the product that provides a ‘pleasure of reading’ aspect for users but also satisfies the research craving of car buyers.

Judges’ comments:
“The website is an extension of the magazine – but much more. The depth of information is remarkable and very comprehensive. The site is useable at every level and is structured to suit each individual. There’s plenty to do on there: the evaluation and shopping services are particularly impressive. ”

Special mention: Music email newsletter service - – Emap Performance Interactive

“The Emap music email newsletter service is very carefully thought-out and doesn’t try to do too much. It does the job perfectly.”

Shortlisted: – BBCi – HELLO!

Music email newsletter service: – Emap Performance Interactive – Rivals Digital Media

Best service provider or supplier to industry

Winner: eMeta Software Europe

Founded in 1998, eMeta is a profitable software company based in London and New York. eMeta’s access control system, eRights, enables business and newspaper publishers to generate meaningful revenue from the sale of online content through repackaging, definition of new licenses, subscriptions and billing management, and ensuring strict license compliancy. The New York Times and have both testified as to the ability of eRights to help attract new users with a blend of premium and free data.

Judges’ comments:
“eMeta have developed a flexible solution that repackages content in an innovative way and generates meaningful revenue from the sale of online content.”


Tower Publishing Services

Best design – business

Winner: – GTI Specialist Publishers aims to give its target audience of students and recent graduates a great-looking magazine-style website that will give them an interesting and engaging experience, whilst also providing the important information they need: the site is far more than an online database. In the past year has featured a new-look homepage every week, highlighting the changing content of the site and acting as a weekly magazine ‘cover’. The character of ‘Doctor Job’ acts as the central cover image, and each week she responds to the Zeitgeist, commenting on various topical news items such as Big Brother, The Commonwealth Games, and The World Cup.

Judges’ comments:
“The clear design of really hits the target market. It showcases the content on the site extremely well but is also very focused. The design and structure have obviously been discreetly organised - for example the home page can be viewed without scrolling - and are consistent throughout every level.”

Shortlisted: – Reed Business Information – Reed Business Information

Best design - consumer – Redwood New Media

The ‘Who are Vous’ section of the Euroguide website features beautifully designed original web-bespoke illustrations and has been crafted to visually engage the user while communicating vital city guide information in a usable fashion.
A creative approach is married with an extremely functional design approach, resulting in a highly engaging design where the navigation is intuitive and simple without overwhelming the content. The editorial is allowed to speak for itself. It is the blending of creativity and usability that gives the site its unique merit.

Judges’ comments:
“ is a thing of beauty possessing form and function. The design is emotive, eye catching and engaging with excellent usability.”

Shortlisted: – CondéNet.UK – Emap Performance Interactive – Emap Performance Interactive

Best new launch – business

Winner: – Lexis Nexis Butterworth Tolley and Reed Business Information is the UK’s most comprehensive online source of quality HR information for a single subscription. With 7,400 articles, growing by 75 per week, it is twelve times the size of a typical loose-leaf employment manual. Content is drawn from the most authoritative and widely quoted practitioner journals, and complemented by commissioned material, including an extensive employment law reference manual. XpertHR’s innovative approach represents a new stage in HR information publishing, making full use of the possibilities of online delivery.

Judges’ comments:
“There is a massive amount of content on Great care has been taken to consider the look and feel, the medium and its audience. There is a lot of genuinely useful information that people will reference as they go about their daily work. Users from all sectors seem very happy with the site.”

Shortlisted: – Reed Business Information – Personnel Publications

Best new launch – consumer – Emap Performance Interactive

Since its launch in the summer of 2001, has established itself as the first port of call for rock fans all over the world. The site has stayed true to the Kerrang! brand’s independent spirit, keeping in touch with its online community and providing exciting and exclusive editorial content. Audio downloads, video clips and competitions are tailored to tie in with content in the magazine, and campaigns conducted by the Kerrang! TV channel.

Judges’ comments:
“ is a real success story. It has appeared from nowhere to become a major passion site, demonstrated by the busy online forums. The site is crammed with interesting content that obviously really appeals to the target audience. An enormous achievement.”

Shortlisted: – BBCi – The National Magazine Company – Financial Times – Rodale – Haymarket Motor Publications

Best editor – business

Winner: Lisa O’Carroll – – Guardian Unlimited

Lisa O’Carroll has been the driving force behind since launch, leading a team of ten reporters and production staff. An experienced editor who has worked with the Evening Standard, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail as a TV correspondent, she joined the site just one month after launch and has made it essential reading in the media industry and beyond. reflects O’Carroll’s particular strengths: breaking the big stories first, covering the sectors in depth, persuading key media players to talk online, and building an impressive contacts list.

Judges’ comments:
“The identity and quality of the product has been formed and dictated by the individual editor, and the success of the site is due to that editorial direction. Its news values are very strong, which is necessary in such a demanding market. is a brilliant product.”


David Shrimpton – – Reed Business Information

Best Editor – Consumer

Winner: Anthony Thornton – – IPC Ignite!

Anthony Thornton is one of the most talented editors working in the online field in the UK. His skills and experience straddle editorial, technical and management with consummate ease. Since joining in November 1998 he has drastically overhauled the site and established it as a market leader in the field of online music in Europe. His improvements have included: introducing 24/7 music news coverage, facilitating the integration of the news and features team working for the NME brand (newspaper, website, web radio, SMS), and bringing users closer to artists.

Judges’ comments:
“A good editor offline doesn’t necessarily make a good editor online. Anthony has shown how a site can be complimentary to the brand and enhanced by a good mix of media that’s not possible in print, and also how commerce can enliven and enrich a site. The editorial is relevant and ‘fits in’, the content seems fresh, integrated and up to date, and we feel that users will come back time and again.”

Special mention to Damian Carrington – – Reed Business Information

“ showcases impressive editorial work from Damian. The site is strongly complimentary to the brand, with clear, new, fresh editorial spin.”


Emily Bell – – Guardian Unlimited

Damian Carrington – – Reed Business Information

Abi Chisman - – CondéNet.UK

Catherine Hanly – – Emap Elan

Justin O’Regan – – Rivals Digital Media

Best integration of media – business

Winner: – BMJ Publishing Group was launched in May 1995 and has become much more than the electronic edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). is a vital resource for all those involved in the healthcare profession. BMJ ELPS (Electronic Long, Paper Short) articles enable users to read a shortened version in the printed product and the full version online. Letters to the editor are now posted in the form of rapid responses online within 24 hours, therefore assisting with the BMJ’s mission of being at the forefront of international debate. Functionality on (including a search engine, email-a-friend and customised alerts) is always developed by identifying features that compliment the BMJ, therefore making both products a valuable resource.

Judges’ comments:
“This entry really stands out from the others. The media mix is very user-friendly and facilitates good interaction with users. The site compliments the print version and develops the brand very effectively.”

Shortlisted: – Construction Plus (Emap Construct) – Reed Business Information – Personnel Publications

Best integration of media – consumer

Winner: – IPC Ignite!

The NME brand has fully integrated its offline, online, text and radio services into one rapidly reacting team with highly developed skill sets for any platform. is now responsible for 97% of NME subscriptions: the number of NME subscribers has risen 200% in two years. NME Radio was launched in August 2001 and features an interactive playlist and a custom-built fully interactive embedded player. NMETXT was launched in May 2002 and has been in profit from the outset due to automated feed from NME ticket alerts, and the utilisation of the NME/ news teams via NME band and news alerts. has established a unique global network of reviewers and reporters continuously providing global exclusives used by NME, and NMETXT.

Judges’ comments:
“The NME team has an excellent understanding of the needs of the readership and have considered what other media will appeal to readers. NME has placed its audience well though SMS, the sale of tickets online has seized on a gap in the market, there is a great deal of interactivity on the site through user questions and so on, and the use of audio is very effective. We think the integration of media is like a seven course dinner all laid out for you!”

Special mention: – Guardian Unlimited

“ clearly demonstrates an understanding of what users want to access and how best to allow them to do that. It was a very close contest.”

Shortlisted: – Guardian Unlimited – Emap Performance Interactive – Rodale – Emap Elan

Best innovation – business

Winner: – Reed Business Information was launched as a new online food hygiene training business in August 2002. The vision was to become the leading online community for the UK hospitality industry by providing the best products and services in three areas: jobs, career development and management advice. 250,000 people are legally required to complete food hygiene training every year, and’s e-learning course has proved itself a comprehensive, cost-effective, flexible way of providing for this need.

Judges’ comments:
“ represents a very simple expression of online technology. It is a great example of e-learning, and demonstrates the most innovative use of technology we have seen in the B2B sector. It is also extremely well-designed for the end user.”

Shortlisted: – Estates Gazette Group – Lexis Nexis Butterworth Tolley and Reed Business Information

Best innovation – consumer

Winner: NMETXT– IPC Ignite!

In an age of numerous and often ineffective SMS services, NME has innovated with text services that users find not just useful but indispensable. NMETXT consists of NME ticket alerts, NME band alerts and NME news alerts. These simple but incredibly popular services link real-time technology with users’ individually targeted needs. The text services have proved very successful with passionate music fans and, though NMETXT is still in its infancy, it is leading innovation in core user-focused SMS services.

Judges’ comments:
“NMETXT is technically innovative, but simple and appropriate. The different elements provide genuine user services that are totally consistent with the brand’s essence, and together they demonstrate significant commercial potential.”


SMS/3G – Emap Performance Interactive

Best Interactive Publisher - Business

Winner: News International for TSL Education Ltd –,, is a free recruitment site for teachers carrying details of more than 9,000 teaching post vacancies at peak times. It was launched to protect the classified advertisement revenue base for the Times Educational Supplement (TSL) when aggressive new competitors arrived in the market. is a site for paid subscribers to The Times Higher Educational Supplement weekly newspaper. It offers access to the full text of the current issue, plus daily news updates, a searchable archive of back issues, academic book reviews and statistics. Free online trials and e-newsletters are used to encourage conversion to subscriptions. supports the company’s four early years and primary teaching exhibitions. It carries visitor information for each exhibition and offers exhibitors the ability to promote themselves, plus allowing cost-effective marketing to potential visitors.

Judges’ comments:
“The TSL sites are all quite different but carry a lot of information on education. The sites cater for those starting out in education and also those who have been working in the industry for a while. There is good evidence for the success of the sites, which have proved leaders in the educational field.”


Estates Gazette Group –

ZDNet UK –

Best interactive publisher – consumer

Winner: Rivals Digital Media –

Formed from the merger of and 365 Corporation’s internet division in December 2001, Rivals Digital Media (RDM) brought together two businesses with strong heritages and a vast range of collective experience, both already established leaders in their respective fields. Today, RDM has established itself as a real first mover in the sports publishing market, and has strived to optimise the potential of the online sporting industry while simultaneously developing new commercial opportunities for the company.

RDM publishes some of the most established web names in sport with its independent news sites:,,,, and RDM operates a successfully integrated ecommerce arm, has developed mobile data services and content syndication arms, and recently relaunched its online SMS services. RDM has developed its business to become a content publishing group with the ability to generate and monetise content from a broad spectrum of sectors, across all forms of media, and this has secured RDM’s place as the AOP number one consumer interactive publisher.

“Rivals Digital Media have created a striking range of sites which have impressed us with their user friendly experience, excellent content and strong integration with commercial objectives. Navigation is also very strong, with easy to use, ‘not in your face’ betting and merchandise opportunities. The commercial content is subtly integrated, the content is in-depth, and the design is bold, clean and clear.”

Special mention: Guardian Unlimited –

“ is also a very strong site and deserves a special mention. Guardian Unlimited has provided an enormous range of in-depth content which also benefits from strong, clear branding and design.”


CondéNet.UK –

Emap Elan –

Guardian Unlimited –