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SEATTLE BOUTIQUE SEDGWICK RD. EARNS SOLE GRAND AT MIDAS AWARDS; CITIBANK STACKS UP 3 GOLD BRICKS AND ONE SILVER

New York, September 7, 2005: Jim Walker, President of Sedgwick Rd., the sole winner of a 2005 Grand Midas Award for the Products and Services Category said "Winning a Grand Midas for the second year in a row is an unexpected and very welcome honor. We've been proud of our financial services work for the past 14 years and winning the Grand Midas proves again that our peers think we're doing outstanding work."

For the second year in a row, the Seattle-based company took the ultimate honor at the annual Midas Awards in the Products and Services category for its humorous Washington Mutual commercial titled "Rick" (Creative Director, Steve Johnston; Executive Producer, Jane Jacobsen) featuring a frustrated construction worker whose new home loan makes him carelessly carefree. It's the first time in Midas Awards history that the same company has won a Grand two years in a row.

Sedgwick took four additional Midas bricks in the Banking sub-category, one Gold and three Silver. Citibank got the second most bling with three Golds and one Silver Midas ingot.

No Grands were awarded this year in the Best Use of Medium or Craft & Technique categories. Preliminary judging took place in Toronto, Oslo, Buenos Aires and London. The final judging for the competition took place in London last month and was overseen by Ian Henderson, Midas Awards Board Chairman and Executive Creative Director of masius, the financial agency arm of Publicis Groupe.

Commenting on why Sedgwick won two years in a row, Henderson said, "Sedgwick Rd.'s work for Washington Mutual takes the coveted Grand Midas again, for the simple reason that the ads make people laugh in every language, every culture. And that matters - these are international awards, after all."

This year only nine entries received scores high enough to earn a Gold ingot. Six were from the USA - along with Sedgwick Rd. and Citibank, Gold ingots went to Fallon in Minneapolis, and Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco. The other Golds were given to Germany's antwerpes & partner ag, Germany's strichpunkt GmbH and South Africa's The Jupiter Drawing Room Johannesburg. Midas Awards honors excellence in financial services communications with four different award levels: the Grand, Gold and Silver ingots, and Finalist Certificates of Recognition.

What made the entries Gold-worthy? Henderson explained, "Humor isn't the only thing that works for the judges around the world... Sincere emotion, like the admiration of heroism in Jupiter Drawing Room's work for Nedbank sponsoring Paralympians, clearly hits their buttons; there was wide appreciation of the staggering attention to detail (and some concern for the well-being of the creative team) in antwerpes and partner's annual report for The Account written in rhyming couplets; and of course, good old ideas like Fallon's billboard and TV work for Citigroup always win through."

He concluded, "In the short history of the Midas Awards, we've seen a huge improvement in the quantity, quality and international flavor of the awards. Under the New York Festivals' expert management, the Midas awards look like they're becoming a real force for improving creative standards in the financial services sector. Financial services are the single biggest chunk of the global economy; it's where you should also find the world's best creative ideas."

About Midas Awards:
Midas Awards, produced by New York Festivals, is the only international competition to recognize excellence in financial services communications on a global scale. The competition extends crosses over regional, national and continental boundaries to provide a true worldview of advertising and corporate communications in the international financial community. Honoring advertising in banking, brokerage, insurance, mutual fund, credit card, real estate, accounting and consulting, Midas Awards focuses on four distinct areas: consumer and business-to-business communications; corporate communications; craft and technique; and best use of medium. Gold and Silver Midas ingots are presented to the highest-scoring entries in each category. Grand Midas awards are selected by the competition's Board of Judges and Advisors as the "Best of Show". For more information, contact Alisun Armstrong, email aarmstrong@newyorkfestivals.com, phone 212-643-4800 or visit www.midasawards.com.

About New York Festivals:
New York Festivals (NYF) is an international awards company founded in 1957. Recognizing The World's Best Work (tm) in advertising, programming, design, and marketing, NYF honors creativity and effectiveness in global communications through nine different annual competitions including Film & Video, Television Programming & Promotion, Radio Programming & Promotion, Television, Cinema & Radio Advertising, Design, Print & Outdoor Advertising, and Interactive & Alternative Media. Entries for each competition are judged in the United States and overseas by panels of industry professionals. Now in its 49th year, the Manhattan-based NYF now has representation in 62 countries. For more information about NYF, visit www.newyorkfestivals.com.



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