The Drum Digital Trading Awards 2017, in association with The Trade Desk recognise and highlight the best examples of digital trading in practice. We aim to reward those who can actively show that what they do, day in and day out, works for their clients and themselves.

As ever, this isn't just a an awards show. This is just the start of an editorial programme and calendar of events culminating with the awards ceremony in May, showing The Drum's commitment to automated trading. We would love you to get involved. his year's theme will look at Living the Dream - Programmatic everywhere and discuss the idea that programmatic is everywhere, is this good or bad and are we all doing it properly. 

Entries are open to anybody in the digital media/trading eco-system who can show that they offer a high value service or technology. Agencies/companies must have had a UK presence for the last 6 months. The work judged should be either with UK based clients or international clients providing the agency/company is UK based.

Entry deadline extended: contcat to arrange yours 

Background & key dates

Living the Dream - Programmatic everywhere

This is the fourth year that The Drum have done the Digital Trading Awards and the industry has undoubtedly changed and changed for the better. We’re not just focussing on what we can do but what we can do well. We have an understanding of what success looks like and how to get there.

It was one of those phrases that got wheeled out at conferences all the time. A truism thrown into your presentation that got everybody’s head nodding but deep down, nobody really believed it would happen anytime soon. Well, in the words of The Smiths ' How Soon is now'.

And it really is. We are seeing mobile bought and sold programmatically, tv being sold programmatically, outdoor being sold programmatically and it looks like radio will follow suit.

So whilst this is all good news, it should not be seen as a sign that everything is fine in the digital trading world. We still have a way to go to make sure that the issues of fraud and bit traffic are eradicated. We still need to rise to the challenge of adblocking and that doesn't mean just finding ways round them, it means addressing the issues that caused users to employ them in the first place.

This is the role that we hope the DTAs and The Drum fills in the market. Yes we are here to call out the bad guys and ask the difficult questions but also we are here to reward those who provide an excellent service, those that are innovating and leading, those who rise above the average.  We want to see Programmatic everywhere. More importantly we want to see high quality everywhere.

If you would like to find out how you can get involved and sponsor the awards, please email Lesley Grant at 


Entry Deadline – 24 February 

Nominations announced – 26 April 

Awards ceremony – 31 May (Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge) 

Why enter?

There are many reasons why you should enter the Digital Trading Awards, and here are a few: 

  • To raise your profile as an award winning agency/company. 
  • To prove your credentials in the increasingly complex digital trading market
  • To help attract new business. 
  • To demonstrate your digital talent and skills to your company, clients and peers.
  • To have your work judged by the esteemed clients and creatives on our judging panel.
  • To reassure clients that you are the best company for the job.
  • To gain fantastic PR opportunities.
  • To boost morale throughout your company and to reward your hardworking individuals and teams.

How much does it cost to enter?

The cost to enter is:

£220 + vat for your first entry
£110 + vat for each additional entry 

Entries received after the deadline date will be subject to a 10% late fee. This will be added at the payment stage. 

You may enter as many categories as you like, however each entry must be treated as a separate entry and payment made for each.  

Who can enter?

Entries are open to anyone in the digital media eco-system who can show that they offer a high value service or technology. Advertisers, publishers, agencies, trading desks, technology
companies etc.

Agencies/companies must have had a UK presence for the last 6 months. The work judged should be either with UK based clients or international clients providing the agency/company is UK based.

How do I enter?

Please follow these steps to enter: 

  1. Register as a member to set up your account.   If you already have an account please sign-in 
  2. Download your entry pack to have all the information in one place
  3. Browse the categories to decide which ones suit you best. Remember you can enter as many as you like but they will be treated as separate entries and charged at the reduced second rate entry fee.
  4. Entries into the awards are report based and this is what you will be judges on.  Please read what to include in your report
  5.  Once you have registered and logged in, go to your ‘dashboard page and ‘add an entry’.
  6. Upload your report (PDF/Word, .doc or .docx max size 10mb) in the box provided.  (entry templates provided, please download from "Writing your entry report" section below"
  7. Submit your 100 word summary, in the box provided, which will show live on the site if you are nominated/win. This will be used to give visitors to the site an insight into what your entry was about and why it was successful. (do not include confidential information here) 
  8. Upload URL if applicable to your entry, in the box provided.
  9. Attach a leading image in the box provided to support your report (Jpeg max size 10mb ). Please note this image will go live in the event of your work being nominated so please take this into account when choosing this image.
  10. Option to upload up to additional images in the boxes provided to support your entry (Jpeg max size 10mb )
  11. If you are entering a video, please follow the instructions provided.  This will also go live in the event of a nominaton.
  12. Check your entry meets the rules criteria
  13. Follow the onscreen instructions to submit your entry and make payment. Please note: you will only receive the 2nd entry rate if you enter all your submissions at the same time. Leave your entries in your basket until you are sure they are complete.
  14. Entry deadline extended - entries received after the 24 Feb deadline will be subject to a 10% late fee.  This will be added on at the payment stage. 
  15. A confirmation email will be sent to you and a receipt will be issued to you within a few days

Once this process is complete your entry will go forward for judging.

Writing your entry report

Your report should be no more than 1500 words.  250 words should be used for an executive summary and you must use the entry templates below. 

Your report must cover all the point below. If you exclude these points, you reduce your chance of being nominated.

If you are looking for hints and tips - watch our entry workshop video.

To see what to cover in each category, see the categories page

    Executive Summary to summarise the key points in your report
    Brief description of project/campaign/strategy
    Provide details of the campaign/strategy's budget
    Brief and objectives, including any targets set. (e.g. cost-saving, income generation, increasing brand awareness)
    Strategy for achieving the above objectives (including details of marketing, PR etc)
    Results including evidence of effectiveness prior and post campaign E.g. and increase in sales/revenue/traffic /awareness etc . Please provide comparable before and after figures. Use exact figures rather than %.
    Testimonials - are not essential but can help to improve your report

Tips for entering

Some tips for entering the awards 

  • Give each entry a unique title to grab the judges interest - try to avoid generic names e.g. Best strategy 
  • When writing your report don’t assume the judges have seen your work or campaign, give clear concise answers on the brief, the objectives and results and figures should include the starting point and any increases.
  • If not commercially necessary please do not add additional password protection.
  • Please include usernames and passwords, if required, for the judging.
  • Although not essential, testimonials can help reinforce statements made in your entry  

Entry rules

Your Digital Tradiing Awards entry must adhere to the rules below:

  1. All entries must have been live to market at some point between 12 February 2016 and 24 February 2017. (Entries do not have to be created within this timescale.)
  2. Do not include password protection
  3. All submissions must be made online. 
  4. Work entered into more than one category must be treated as a completely separate entry.
  5. Multiple entries can be made but separate payment must be made for each.
  6. All entries must be supplied and conform to category rules/submission formats. Entries must be received by no later than 6pm 24 February. 
    Please note that we cannot guarantee that entries received after this deadline will be considered
  7. Entries are open to anybody in the digital media eco-system and are based in the UK. If your company is outwith the UK, you must have a UK office or your client must be based in the UK. 
  8. The judges reserve the right to re-allocate entries that in their view are entered in an incorrect category
  9. The organisers reserve the right to publish/exhibit screen grabs and/or submitted report in relation to the awards. Please note nominated/winning reports may be published on or in The Drum magazine. If your report includes sensitive not for re-publication information,  Please clearly write this beside any such text. 
  10. The organisers reserve the right to verify that all entries have been commercially produced for a commercial client where relevant
  11. The judges' decision is final
  12. Due to the number of entries received we cannt give feedback about specific entries. 
  13. Entries received after the deadline date will be charged a 10% late fee 
  14. All entries submitted must be legal. Any entries containing offensive material will be disqualified

How will my entry be judged?

After the entry deadline the judging panel will be given access to read your submission and view your images, videos and links.  The judging panel will be looking for evidence of:

  • Clear strategic thinking
  • Innovation
  • Effectiveness.
  • Tangible results
  • Clarity and Transparancy 

After the panel have carried out their pre judging they will meet in March to discuss the entries and decide on the finalists, commendations and award winners.

When will nominations be announced

The finalists will be announced on the website and via social media at 3pm on 26 April 

All entrants will be notified when the announcement has been made and nominees will receive a congratulatory email and finalist certificate in the post.  

Please note: One finalist certificate will be sent per entry and to the company as submitted online.

When are the results revealed?

Those who are nominated will find if they have won an award or received a commendation at the awards ceremony which takes place on Wednesday 31 May, Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge. 

Find out more and book tickets here. 

The awards ceremony


A must for your awards calendar in 2016.  With over 500 attendees, The Digital Trading Awards ceremony brings together the elite of the industry to celebrate and reward their successes over the past year.

The event is not only an awards presentation but it provides suppliers to the industry with the perfect platform to network with potential clients and those they wish to do business with.

Event Details

Date: 31 May
Venue: Park Plaza, Westminster 
Time: 6.45 - 7.15pm - 1am
Dress code: Black-tie 


Included in your ticket is:

  • Entrance to the awards
  • drinks reception
  • 3 course dinner
  • Half a bottle of wine per person
  • Entertainment
  • The opportunity to catch up/network with colleagues.


Table of 12: Available soon  
Table of 10: Available soon 
Single tickets: Available soon 


The awards manifesto

The editorial programme culminates with the Manifesto published in June.  This publication takes a look at the past year, catches up with a few of the industry’s key players, showcases the top award winners' and addresses the notion that we are "Living the Dream - Programmatic everywhere"

If you would like to like more details on how you can get involved, please email Lesley Grant

Download the 2016 manifesto here. 


Coming soon!


Enter the DTAs and we'll reward the best in the adtech industry
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