For those of hoping to put something shiny in the middle of the boardroom table, the judging of entries into the 2008 Caxton Awards for excellence in newspaper advertising is complete. The result? 74 finalists across 26 categories, with the number of entries up by 10 percent on last year.

Finalist nominations were hotly contested with Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney securing 12 finalists, M&C Saatchi Sydney eight, Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand seven, Clemenger BBDO Adelaide six, BMF with five and JWT Sydney and The Campaign Palace with four nominations each.

A complete list of Caxton finalists can be viewed on the Caxton website if you want check to see if you made it through.

“The Caxton judging was friendly, well mannered and considered – which usually means either the work was rather average or that judges didn’t have any of their own work entered,” says chairman of judges Paul Catmur from Barnes, Catmur & Friends.

“(But) neither turned out to be the case and while there may not have been too many actual ‘balltearers’, we left the room with plenty of scratches around the scrotum – apart from Michelle Galluzzo from M&C. We saw some really nice ads and importantly, some really nice newspaper ads,” continues Catmur.

“International print award shows are judged by who got away with best scams so it was good to see some real work surface every now and again. I believe we have some really deserving Caxtons and a good spread of work to uphold the tradition of the awards.”

The winners of the prestigious event will be announced at the Caxton Weekend Seminar to be held at the Sea Temple Resort, Port Douglas, Qld, from 24-26 October. Places are filling fast, so to have an excuse to get to this networking opportunity/shameless junket, download and fax a delegate form from the Caxton website.