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eircom Spider Sponsors and Awards


29th November 2013

I was at the eircom Spider Awards last night, 28th November 2013.

Dorcas, of Zonua, at the eircom Spiders
Me, beside a banner with all the sponsors

By the way, to enter, it costs €150, but a 25% discount was on offer.

I had heard rumours that the Spiders were struggling this year to get entries, particularly as the Web Awards are becoming more well known and respected (and have free entry), but these rumours must have been incorrect, as eircom Spiders announced that they had a whopping 40% increase in entries this year!

One thing that seemed like a glaring conflict-of-interest was the way that Sponsors also entered the competition.

In the interests of transparency, I don't think this is a clever thing to do, as it risks damaging the reputation of the awards.

The companies who were shortlisted and who were winners are all probably great companies with great websites and online marketing campaigns.

I just want to you to look at this graphic: which is only looking at categories where sponsored also entered

Eircom Spiders Sponsors win a disportionate amount of prizes

One way of doing a statistic would be: -
Looking only at Categories where a Sponsor was shortlisted:

Non Sponsors: 4.2% winners | Sponsors: 67% winners

Do eircom not worry about this? Are they concerned about the awards that claims to be ‘The Oscars’ of the online and digital media industry could be perceived as a buy-your-award night? Did they notice anyone tittering when awards in certain categories were announced?

Of course the eircom Spiders organisers can argue that the winners would've been as they are, regardless of sponsorship, and maybe they are right. However, I often see small companies think long and hard about transparency, even when running ‘lucky dip’ Facebook competitions, and I would like to see the Spiders consider transparency and fairness next year. And then hopefully they'll be around for a long time.

Update 2nd December 2013

The highlighted areas in the article, have been edited at the request of a Louise Delahunty from Business and Finance, who run the eircom Spider Awards, who wish to say that under no circumstances do people buy awards AND that there were categories where Sponsors were nominated, but they did not make it to the shortlist, for example Independant and Ad2Zone. They were also concerned that the facts were wrong here, so I've made an effort to ensure that it is more clear that the figures above are only looking at categories where a sponsor was also shortlisted.

Congratulations to the winner of the Grand Prix award was Sport Changes Life which is a registered charity in the UK with the addition of the American 501c3 status, and congratulations to all the winners.

Any thoughts?

Dorcas Réamonn

Hi, I'm Dorcas. I make websites. I lecture in Digital Marketing and related stuff in the UCD Smurfit School, and also work with the UCD Innovation Academy. I love education, learning and all things creative, which could cover anything from coding to filmography to dancing! I take photos (personal Insta @dorcasz). I do consultancy. I do talks. I've written popular books on WordPress (available here and and here. Visit my personal site here.

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