Two BBC departments, including BBC Broadcast and BBC 1 marketing, won more than 30 prizes between them including best sport promotion and best use of editing. But leading branding experts claim many of the corporation's promos are irrelevant and far more expensively produced than those from commercial broadcasters.
Bruce Dunlop, chairman and creative director of Bruce Dunlop & Associates, claimed: 'The BBC spends money like there's no tomorrow. Pieces like the roof jumper campaign [winner of three awards] make great TV but they're irrelevant to what the BBC does. The excessiveness is amazing.'
Dunlop said he believed many BBC promotion slots were created for the benefit of producers' showreels and portfolios, rather than to promote BBC services.
But Christine Madden, head of marketing at BBC 1, reacted angrily to criticism of the roof jumper campaign (officially titled 'Rush Hour') by saying: 'I wrote the strategy for the channel and commissioned that piece of work. It is part of that strategy to get people to reassess the channel. The piece is relevant and it is working.'
Graham McCallum, founding partner of brand agency Kemistry, also voiced his concern about the situation: 'The BBC is funded by the licence payer - effectively a tax. Given the current market for broadcasters this gives it an unfair advantage and distorts the landscape for its competitors.'
Andi Granger, creative director at Sky One and next year's Promax chairman, said: 'I've already had a great deal of feedback on this and I completely agree. We need to get Promax away from the elite few. My first role will be to review the judging and the categories need reviewing as well. We need to get back to a level playing field where concepts and ideas are not over-shadowed by big budgets and big teams.'
The Promax Awards took place in London last Saturday. For a full list of winners see Broadcastnow.co.uk