Virgin Wines' "Win a week in Necker Island" competition won the inaugral Online Marketing Award at this year's London International Wine and Spirit Fair, after what the judges called "an extremely tight contest".

The Virgin Wines' campaign had run from April 2002 to May 2002, and had offered potential customers the chance to take three friends to the exclusive Caribbean island owned by Richard Branson.

The campaign was designed to generate a new large base of customers for Virgin in a cost effective way. The judges felt the campaign had successfully demonstrated it had achieved this by acquiring 140,000 prospective customers at half the cost of a benchmark list purchase.

The campaign grew the Virgin Wines registered user base by 50% in just three weeks.

Allan Davies, CEO of just-drinks and one of the judges said: "The success Virgin Wines enjoyed with the campaign proves a well designed and executed online marketing drive can outperform more established techniques"

Also highly commended in the competition was Allied Domecq's Cruel & Unusual teaser campaign for its new shooter brand Magma.

The ads were designed by Allied's UK PR agency Jefferson Hunt and had been design ed to create a "buzz" around the brand before its launch, by encouraging speculation and rumour within the trade.

The campaign's banner advertising consistently over-achieved the national average for click through of 0.4% registering an impressive 6.4%.

Davies said: "Nobody doubts it is getting harder to make banner advertising stick. However, this shows that with good design, it is not the dead medium many pundits would have you believe"