Leader-Call Creative Director Kassie Rowell and the paper won a total of 15 honors, including five first-place awards, in the Mississippi Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for Advertising at MPA’s Mid-Winter Conference in Jackson on Saturday.

Three of the first-place awards Rowell won were in categories that are judged against all non-daily papers across the state. Papers in the same circulation division compete against each other for most of the awards.

Two of those winning entries were for color ads — for best magazine grocery or restaurant ad (Tokyo Japanese Steak House) and best magazine healthcare ad (Wallace Drugs) — appeared in publications that were produced by the Leader-Call staff. Judges wrote: “Very creative ad! The graphics are fabulous!”

Rowell got first and third place for another category in which all non-dailies compete against each other. Judges said her black-and-white service ad for Benji Easterling Roofing was the best in the state, complimenting her for “good use of tones in a small space.” Rowell got third for a Rent All ad.

The paper finished second in its circulation division for Advertising Excellence, which is the award for overall performance in all areas of advertising.

“Kassie is the best in the business, and this proves that people in other parts of the country see that, too, so it’s not just me saying that,” LL-C owner and Publisher Jim Cegielski said. “Anyone who purchases an ad from one of our reps also receives the creative services of one of the best graphic designers around. A lot of people don’t realize that. 

“Kassie and our sales staff really like to work with clients who aren’t afraid to take a chance and try something different, something that will really get the attention of potential customers. Our ad staff works hard to make sure their clients get noticed, but it’s nice to see them get recognized, too.”

Rowell won in the Leader-Call’s division for best color healthcare ad for Quinn Pharmacy & Gifts. “Nice ad with a great color scheme, fonts and a picture that makes me want to stop in and see what they have. Very appealing,” judges wrote.

Rowell also won first for best color service ad with her BonVie Home Builders ad. “Interesting content that will make people stop and look even if they aren’t totally looking for a house. Great ad. Easy first place,” judges wrote.

She also won second and third for advertising in a special section with ads she created for Black Friday and Down Through the Years in last year’s Profile section, respectively.

Rowell won second place for best color grocery or restaurant ad (Smokehouse), best small-space ad (George’s Discount Wine & Liquor) and best institutional color ad (Jones County Schools).

She took third for best color retail ad (Bassline), best color financial ad (Southern Miss Credit Union) and best theme page (Back To School).

A total of 16 non-daily newspapers in the state submitted a total of 822 entries for the contest. Judging was done by members of the Kansas Press Association.

In June, the Leader-Call won a total of 18 awards, including the coveted Community Service Award and was third in General Excellence, in MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest for Editorial Content.

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