Mediatel Media Research Award dedicated to late TechEdge boss, Adrian Edwards
Mediatel Media Research Awards launches special category in tribute to the late Adrian Edwards of TechEdge.
“There's always someone behind the cleverness that has done something in media. All the broadcasters and big brand advertisers know that.”
More often than not in recent years, that “someone” was Adrian Edwards, the UK managing director of media software company TechEdge, who died aged 44 in May from cancer.
In a tribute to Edwards, one of the Mediatel Media Research Awards' most popular categories is being renamed in his honour to The Adrian Edwards award for Best Use of Datasets.
The award, which is dedicated to the best use of a combination of data sets to meet a business challenge, is a fitting tribute to Edwards' standing and contribution to the media industry, according to research company bosses and research leaders from the UK's major broadcasters.
Channel 4's head of advertising research and development, Martin Greenbank, told Mediatel News that he and contemporaries from ITV, Sky, Thinkbox and BARB originally wanted to create an “unsung data hero award”, such is the affection and respect they had for Edwards.
“The broadcasters' research leads - myself, Neil Mortensen [ITV], Lucy Bristowe [Sky], Matt Hill [Thinkbox] – we've all known Adrian for years and that's where the idea for this award came from. Because there's always someone behind the cleverness that has done something. All the broadcasters know that.”
Money raised from entry fees for this award will go to BIBIC, a charity that delivers therapeutic programmes to children and young adults and is based near where Edwards lived in Taunton, Somerset.
In addition, the company with the winning entry will receive a £1,000 bursary from BARB to be used for training purposes to develop the next generation of research leaders.
Edwards, who joined Denmark-headquartered TechEdge in 2009, had become the company's UK figurehead, Greenbank recalls, despite being “quite softly spoken”.
“I’d always describe him as super calm,” Greenbank said. “Really affable. The word 'genial' often comes up… He was just really focused on his product and helping people to use it, including all the training. Everyone who has used data in the TV world will know TechEdge and everyone who knows TechEdge will have known Adrian.”
Edwards was also central to the first conversations around the UK version of CFlight, Greenbank revealed. CFlight UK is a joint-broadcaster initiative to measure linear and video-on-demand TV audiences across Sky, Channel 4 and ITV.
This is because, given his understanding and knowledge of how to interpret and model the masses of TV data produced by BARB, tech platforms, and other research companies, Edwards had become “the first port of call” for broadcaster research leads as they decided how to develop the platform.
He became well-known to media owners and agencies and would be tasked with coming into clients' offices to explain how to use its TV analysis software, such as AdvantEdge.
“You can imagine the kind of people he met,” Greenbank adds. “But he had this way of dealing with all that very calmly and they sold the product all the way through the media agencies and most of the broadcasters too.”
The 2022 Mediatel Media Research Awards opened for entries on 1 September.
Winners will be revealed at a prestigious awards lunch in March 2022, with a Grand Prix award chosen from winners of the project-based categories.
For further details look out for our announcements and visit our website.