Amid scenes of celebration, Captive Media was last night named winner of the prestigious Guardian Small Business Showcase award for Excellence in Marketing and PR. The award was presented by retailing guru and broadcaster Mary Portas, at a glittering ceremony at Hoxton’s BL-NK. Captive Media had beaten off competition from over 200 entrants to make it to last night’s final which was judged by a panel including Guardian Business Editor Fiona Walsh, and former BBC Dragon James Caan. In winning, they pipped two other finalists including current Dragon Peter Jones’s investment Love da Popcorn, itself led by a team of ex Saatchi & Saatchi execs.

The award recognised Captive Media’s achievements in breaking into the US market through smart use of viral marketing to create an avalanche of TV and radio coverage of their installation of a Philadelphia baseball stadium in April 2013. The installation garnered over 450 Television, radio and press reports including feature spots on primetime CNN and coverage in Sports Illustrated. Captive Media now has installations in eleven cities across the US and Canada.

In making the award, Mary Portas commented “The judges have recognised Captive Media’s achievement in taking a tiny marketing budget, and breaking into one of the largest, yet toughest markets in the world”. Captive Media founders Gordon MacSween and Mark Melford were said to be “dazed and delighted”.

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