The Clio Awards are given to reward creative excellence in advertising and design. They are awarded in a number of fields, including: TV, Print, Outdoor, Radio, Integrated Campaign, Innovative Media, Design, Internet, Content & Contact, and Student work.
The awards are named for the Greek Muse of history Clio and were first given in 1959. They were expanded to include international work in 1965. The 1991 ceremony was plagued by scandal. The scheduled presenter failed to appear and two impromptu presenters struggled to carry out the show—a task that was made all the more difficult by the lack of a winners list. Following this, a group of investors headed by Chicago publisher Ruth Ratny reorganized the awards program, and eventually sold it to Dutch-owned company VNU, which in 2007 changed its name to Nielsen and is the Clio's parent company to this day.
Clio is one of the largest awards programs of its kind. Their official press release indicates that in 2007 they received over 19,000 entries from all over the world, and over 110 judges from 62 countries comprised the jury.
The judges are instructed to value ideas more highly than mere execution as they look at all entries submitted and select a shortlist. From that, they vote to award the very best work with statues—bronze, silver or gold. The Clio judging process allows for more than one Gold, Silver or Bronze winner, or in some cases, no winner at all, within individual mediums (TV, Print, etc.). If judges determine a Gold winner is “best-of-the-best” in the medium, the Grand Clio may be given to that entry. Only 1% of all entries receive awards, which are given at two separate award shows during a four day Clio Festival in South Beach, Miami, Florida in May.