International recognition for SA's first digital food and wine mag

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South Africa's first digital food and wine magazine - Crush! - has been named as one of six finalists in the "Food and Drink Magazine of the Year" category of the 2011 Digital Magazine Awards.

The Digital Magazine Awards were launched in 2010 as a global event aimed at acknowledging and rewarding cutting-edge digital magazines from around the world. The 2011 category and overall winner will be announced at an awards function in London on 14 December 2011.

As a finalist in the 2011 Digital Magazine Awards, Cape Town based Crush! magazine joins digital publications from the world’s leading publishing houses and blue chip brands in the final adjudication by an impressive panel of international judges.

Michael Olivier, Editor of Crush!, says: “When we started out with Crush! 14 editions ago, we were delivering on a dream of engaging with South African food and wine enthusiasts in a fun and interactive way. Producing the magazine digitally was a leap of faith, but it enabled us to be far more creative than print would ever allow.”

A Google survey released in August this year found that the average click-through rate for banner ads was dropping despite attempts to make them more inviting. According to the Google report the 2010 US click-through rate was 0.09% compared to 0.1% in 2009. This means that about one person in 1 000 actually clicks on banner ads.

Olivier says the focus by the Crush! team on working with advertisers on creating interactive advertising material has paid off. “Crush! is consistently recording a click through rate of 27% on our rich media adverts, something of which we are very proud. It means we are delivering true value to our advertisers. At the same time we are providing our readers with an entertaining magazine, where every page invites interaction.”

Crush! magazine was launched in July 2010 to a database of 300 subscribers. Just over a year later Crush! is able to boast some 8 600 subscribers.

One of the reasons the Digital Magazine Awards were founded is to create greater awareness for digital publications. Bruce Hudson, founder and chairman of the Digital Magazine Awards, explains on the Awards’ web site: “I felt there was a need to celebrate the amazing work happening in the sector and decided to create a global awards.”

The Digital Magazine Awards 2011 judges include:

David Schlesinger: Chairman, Thomson Reuters China
Tanzina Vega: Multimedia Producer, The New York Times
Peter Bale: Vice President and General Manager, CNN International Digital
Ivan Fernandes: Global Director of Social Media, MediaCom
Rishi Khiani: CEO, Times Internet Limited
Gavin Drake: Vice President, Quark International
Sarah Locke: Chairman, Braben PR
Richard Ayers: Head of Digital, Manchester City Football Club
Peter Houston: Editor, FlippingPages.org.uk
Russell Clark: Editor, MagDesigner.net
Bruce Hudson: Chairman, Digital Magazine Awards

For your free subscription to Crush!, please click here. For more information on the awards please click here.


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