New Year Honours: The Drum editorial team's media companies of 2019

The Big Issue

In the newest issue of The Drum, we award our New Year Honours to the agencies, brands and people who have proved, throughout 2019, that marketing can change the world. Pick up a copy to see the entire list and read our reasoning, but in the meantime here's a glimpse of the media companies we think made 2019 a year to remember.

The Big Issue

Despite its efforts to provide its vendors (who must be either homeless or almost homeless) an opportunity to earn a legitimate income and to help them reintegrate into mainstream society, society itself has been changing. And so ‘#CashlessBigIssue’ became a major focus for The Big Issue in 2019, which saw the magazine collaborate with Monzo to provide a way for its vendors to sell copies.

Sesame Street

In 2019, Sesame Street marked 50 years on the air, sparking a wave of commemoration and celebrations as well as providing an opportunity to learn from the venerable children’s show.


The owner of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, Hulu and ESPN has assembled a competitive cable package fit for the digital age. In November, it showed what this direct to consumer offering would look like via Disney+, its ad-free SVOD service.


While hardly the internet’s first meme machine (funny pictures and gifs have pretty much made Tumblr and Twitter tolerable this last decade), for original, addictive, sure-to-go-viral content in 2019 it was all about TikTok. Just ask one of the billion people who have downloaded it or its Chinese equivalent Douyin.

Channel 4

From broadcasting its first black sitcom (Desmond’s) 30 years ago to covering the World Para Athletics Championships, Channel 4 has long positioned itself as a channel that embraces diversity and brings neglected experiences into the mainstream. 2019 further cemented the idea that the broadcaster was set up to be different.

The Guardian

In 2019, The Guardian proved an example to the entire media industry (and, indeed, anyone making their living slinging sentences together) how much language matters by altering the way its journalists report on the story of the century – the global climate emergency.

This newest issue of The Drum is out now and looks back on the best brands, marketers, media companies, agencies and organizations – as well as the finest campaigns – of 2019. And since this is our first issue of the new decade, we review some of the finest work of the last 10 years, before we turn towards the next 10.