Sally Cartwright, director-at-large of celebrity weekly Hello! has been awarded the 2006 Marcus Morris Award for her work in opening up an entire new genre in magazine publishing.
Cartwright joined Hello! when it launched 18 years ago as a spin-off of the Spanish magazine, ¡Hola! The magazine's influence has since spread into tabloid newspapers, women's glossies, broadsheets and broadcasting.
The Marcus Morris Award, established by the PPA and endowed by the National Magazines Company in 1990, honours an individual who has gained distinction through significant and longstanding contribution to the magazine publishing business. It commemorates the career of the former MD of Natmags, who was responsible for the launch of Cosmopolitan and Company.
Presenting the award, Natmags chief executive Duncan Edwards said Cartwright had been the driving force behind Hello!, which had since spawned a whole new genre of magazines, some of which are among the top-selling magazines in the country.
He said: "Sally has overseen a magazine which has stayed true to its original blueprint of informative, entertaining and a graphic window into the world of celebrity.
"Though the competition comes and goes, Hello! remains the grande dame of celebrity publishing."
Cartwright said she found it hard to believe she was being honoured with what she called "the most prestigious accolade the magazine industry can give anyone".
She said: "I've never been a creative or an innovator, I've always envied the creators. In honesty, I'm a details person, endlessly wandering among the trees and wondering where the wood is."
Cartwright paid tribute to the staff at Hello!, her successor in the publisher's role at the magazine, Charlotte Stockting, the PPA and praised the magazines industry, which she said, was "a medium of choice which people spent good money on".
She added that the industry was also an environmentally friendly one "or will be by the time I've finished with you". Cartwright has been at the forefront of calls for the industry to account for its environmental impact.
She began her career in publishing within the circulation marketing team at IPC, and became MD at Harmsworth Publications before joining Hello! at its inception in 1988. She is an ex-chair of the PPA, and was awarded an OBE in 2001 for her services to the industry.
At the event last Friday, Helen Alexander, chief executive of The Economist Group, took over the PPA chair from Condé Nast chief executive Nicholas Coleridge.
Alexander said the association could have a voice with Government, Europe and all its members, but added: "It's important to stand together and speak with one voice. If not, we will simply not be heard."