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Visa e-tail awards rock its world

Winner Lastorders is titsup.com

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Updated Last night Visa held its first e-tail awards at some fancy hotel in London and the whole world held its breath. The event was a great success, as they always are, but just a handful of companies walked away with the prestigious awards.

There have been suggestions that only 29 Web sites made it into the nine different categories because companies didn't want to pay the entry fee, especially when they received no acknowledgement of entry, but that's nonsense.

The shortlists were culled from millions and millions of entries and it's simply a sign of how outstanding some sites are that six of the 29 sites featured in two categories, a further three appeared in three categories and one featured four times.

The incredible 42,000 votes cast are all the more impressive considering that the awards Web site didn't support voting until some days into the kick-off date (they forgot to put a send button on it). And rumours that Visa only managed to hire the service of international celebrity Dale "Makeup" Winton late in the day are scandalous.

Those hoping for a Brit awards-style punch-up were also disappointed. The event was a corporate suits-only affair. The highlight was probably the Mirror columnist Matt Kelly's jibe while presenting the Best Value award. "Last year, someone told me the best value you could get was in QXL shares," he said. Seeing as QXL shares were the worst performing this year (possibly ever) - down something like 98 per cent - it's not surprising that shareholding QXL execs were not so amused.

In fact we called up Mr Kelly this morning, who, peering through a hangover, pointed out that the winner of best Door2Door site, Lastorders.com, has just gone into liquidation. (What the hell do all these categories mean like, Door2Door and Made to measure - Ed.) But if anyone's to blame it's him, seeing as he was top judge of the awards along with some other jaded journos, a senior VP and a chief exec.

While we're here, we'd like to present two special awards of our own:

Bad smell award Awarded to Charles Tyrwhitt (outfitters) for being in four different categories and failing to even win a runner-up award. Bless.
Bridesmaid Award Awarded to Dabs.com. In three categories and runner-up for two of them. Better luck next year Dave (Atherton, the MD).

For those of you interested, here are the results. Oh, we should mention that Argos won three awards (it is a good site, mind) and Amazon won two. ®

Update

A number of readers have taken issue with our throwaway comment about Argos' site. Most were Mac users who railed against the site's inability to work with Macs (you're asked to call to order a catalogue instead). Others feel that the abundant use of JavaScript make it a contender for anti-good practice site of the year.

Pain-Free shopping

Winner: Firebox.com
Runner-up: Mothercare.co.uk

Best Value

Winner: Easyjet.com
Runner-up: Halfpriceorless.com

Customer Service

Winner: Amazon.co.uk
Runner-up: Carphonewarehouse.com

Bricks to Clicks

Winner: Argos.co.uk
Runner-up: Next.co.uk

Made to Measure

Winner: Amazon.co.uk
Runner-up: Dabs.com

Door2Door

Winner: Lastorders.com
Runner-up: Pressie.com

Safe as Houses

Winner: Argos.co.uk
Runner-up: Dabs.com

Best Family Business

Winner: Freshfood.co.uk
Runner-up: Allcures.com

Innovation

Winner: Argos.co.uk

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