Media release: This year’s Gold Siren Winner, equivalent to the best radio ad in Australia, will be announced in Melbourne on May 9, following a record number of entries in this year’s Siren Awards. The winner of the 2008 Siren Awards for creative excellence in radio advertising will be announced at a gala breakfast featuring the hosts of Nova’s top-rating, drive time show, “The Wrong Way Home” - Akmal Saleh, Cal Wilson and Ed Kavalee.

[html] The comedy team will host the breakfast, which will feature the best radio ads of the past twelve months. The 2008 winner, chosen by a panel of industry experts, will be automatically entered into the Cannes Radio Lions – to be held in June and its writer will also win two tickets to attend the festival. Last year’s Gold Siren winner, an advertisement for Snickers called “Hoedown”, won the Grand Prix Radio Lion at Cannes – equivalent to the best radio ad in the world – and was the first Australian winner ever. The other radio winner from Australia was a campaign for Foxtel, written by Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney which won a Silver Lion.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said the Siren Awards provided a great opportunity to recognise excellence in Australian radio advertising and highlight the great work being achieved.

“Each year the Siren Awards continue to raise the bar in terms of creativity and originality. There have been a record number of entries so far this year – over 500 – up more than 65% on last year, and entries are continuing to flood in with today being the last chance to enter” Ms Warner said.

The gala breakfast will be followed by the Sirens Masterclass, a one-day, creative seminar that provides keynote speakers and interactive sessions. The Masterclass includes lunch and will be followed by drinks, enabling fellow creatives to share ideas and network. Keynote speakers at this year’s event are distinguished Australian screen writers, Jan Sardi and Craig Pearce.  Sardi received an Academy Award nomination in 1997 for his screenplay for “Shine” and is known more recently for his work on the screenplay for the US film, “The Notebook”.

Craig’s success began in 1991 working with Baz Luhrmann on the Australian feature film, “Strictly Ballroom” and he has continued that partnership with work on “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet” and Academy Award winning “Moulin Rouge”.

Cannes Radio Lions judge for this year and creator of the award-winning Australian radio brand campaign, Ralph van Dijk of Eardrum Australia, will also talk at the Masterclass and run several interactive sessions on how to write world-class radio ads.  More speakers will be announced soon.

Both the Sirens breakfast and Masterclass will be held at The Point Albert Park in Melbourne. Commercial Radio Australia is running the event in association with the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club (MACD) and the Australian Writers Guild (AWG). The breakfast will run from 7.30am to 9.30am and the Masterclass will follow the breakfast and includes lunch. Tickets are on sale now at $395 for the breakfast and Masterclass combined and $65 for breakfast only. An early bird discounted rate of $350 is available for those members of Commercial Radio Australia, MADC and AWG who book and pay before Friday, April 11. For a booking form and more information visit the Sirens website.

The national Siren Awards, now in their fifth year, are run by Commercial Radio Australia and are designed to recognise the best radio advertising in the country.  The awards promote the importance of creativity as a way to make radio advertising more effective. Today is the last chance to get entries into this year’s Siren Awards with entries closing at 6pm. For more information visit the dedicated website www.sirenawards.com.au.