A History of the iMedia ASPY Awards

The first iMedia Agency Summit took place in 2001. It was the first time senior leaders from both digital agencies and media companies from across the country came together to address key industry issues and establish best practices for moving our industry forward. As senior digital agency leaders, it was the first time we had all been in a room together to discuss our shared, pressing issues.

The iMedia Summit provided a critical place for us to collaborate and actually make a difference in helping our industry evolve. As a result, this particular conference sparked the development of the IAB / AAAAs Industry Standard Terms & Conditions. And, you guessed it, it was held in Aspen, Colorado. From there, the “Aspen Group” was formed. In the early days of iMedia, we were all learning (and struggling with) how to adapt to the changing digital marketplace, especially after the “bubble burst.” Many of those early discussions were filled with buyer vs. seller debates. While they were — and continue to be — healthy discussions, we (the agency community) did get the sense that we were spending a lot of time addressing what was “wrong” and not providing more positive feedback to the publishers. So in 2003, the Aspen Group created the ASPY Awards: a series of awards given to the industry’s best publishers and media providers to recognize their excellence and recognition in key areas. Voting comes solely from the Agency community. While the categories have evolved over the years, the purpose is still the same: to shine the spotlight on the tech and service companies and publishers that go above and beyond in serving agencies and their clients, as well as contributing to the innovation and growth of the entire industry.