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Perennial performers Colenso and DraftFCB on top of Effie finalist table, BC&F and DDB hot on their heels

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As the bean counters might say, if advertising doesn't improve the bottom line, it's really just art. And expensive art at that. And the agencies that improved their clients' businesses the most this year have been announced, with perennial Effie performers Colenso BBDO and DraftFCB on top with 22 and 16 finalists respectively, followed by the bolter Barnes, Catmur & Friends on ten and DDB on nine. 

Colenso's finalists pretty much all came in the FMCG category, with campaigns for Frucor, DB, Mars and Tip Top making it through. DraftFCB had a wider spread, with work for Mitre 10, Electricity Authority, CAANZ, Foodstuffs and others getting the nod. BC&F's stellar work for Boundary Rd Brewery and Hell Pizza earned its impressive ten places and, like DraftFCB, DDB also had a good spread of work acknowledged, with VW, Lotto, Steinlager, Yellow and The Warehouse all making the cut. 

There was a bit of a gap back to the peloton, with Special Group on four, Ogilvy, Clemenger BBDO, justONE and Saatchi & Saatchi on three each, .99, Federation, bcg2 and The Space Between on two, and JWT, Droga5, Publicis Mojo, Insight Consultants, TBWA\ and Below the line getting one each. 

There were 90 finalists in total, with 42 judges in Wellington (the first time judging has been held in the capital) and 114 in Auckland ensuring each entry was read six times before the adjudicators tallied the scores. 

"Listening to some of the feedback from judges it seems that the truly great stories of well-designed advertising driving business success, still easily stand out," says Lew Bentley, Convener of Judges. "However, some entries let themselves down by not connecting the campaign with their business objectives or proving a strong return on investment."

Finalists have until business close on Monday to submit their creative material ready for category judging on Wednesday, which is made up of seven separate judging panels, each headed by an executive judge, judging entries in their categories. 

Judging panels are currently being appointed. Executive judging, led by international guest judge Charlie Robertson of the Red Spider Network, takes place on Monday 3 September in Auckland. 

The Effie Awards will be presented on 11 October at the Langham Hotel.

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