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Leading new media entrepreneur Steve Leach has triumphed at Europe's most prestigious business awards, walking away with the title of International Entrepreneur of the Year.

Handed the accolade at a packed Paris ceremony, the founder of Europe's largest digital marketing agency almost didn't make it to the European Business Awards event. Less than an hour before the bigmouthmedia CEO was due to arrive; the taxi he was travelling in was written-off in a motorway accident.

Crowned RSM International Entrepreneur of the Year by a judging committee assembled to recognise business innovation, excellence and ethics, Leach emerged as winner ahead of a tough field of competitors representing 25 of the 27 European member states. He was selected after the panel identified him as having demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership qualities alongside an innovative approach that has been backed up by bigmouthmedia's strong business performance.

"This is a tremendous honour. We've come a long way since first launching the company in an Edinburgh basement a decade ago and receiving this award is a landmark moment for me personally and a tribute to a talented team of people who made bigmouthmedia what it is today," said Leach.

"Having just experienced first-hand the terrors of a French motorway smash, to be honest I was just delighted to have made it to the ceremony at all."

Presenting the award in front of an audience of European dignitaries, Jean Stephens, CEO of category sponsor RSM International said: “Steve thoroughly merits the accolades he's achieved, and we offer him our wholehearted congratulations on winning The RSM International Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Bigmouthmedia is about the here and now. Like RSM, it has global offices partnering international companies, and advising them on how to succeed in the ever-developing modern business world.”

The win comes on the back of a host of awards for Leach and the team at bigmouthmedia. In the last 12 months he has been crowned Entrepreneur of the Year for both Scotland and the UK, while the company he founded is also short listed for honours at both the Fast Growth Business Awards and the UK Technology and Innovation Awards.

About bigmouthmedia

Founded in 1997, bigmouthmedia is a leader in digital marketing, with a team of over 200 staff across 13 offices in 10 countries on 3 continents the company maximizes return and exposure for major brands online through a variety of fully integrated digital marketing channels: Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Display Advertising, Affiliate Marketing, Social Networking, Brand Monitoring, Online PR and Web Analytics.

Bigmouthmedia services big-brand customers globally including: Adidas, Hilton, British Airways, Tesco, Aer Lingus, BP, Barclays, Castrol, Conrad International, Dorling Kindersley, Early Learning Centre, easyCar, Fasthosts, Jumeirah, Canon, Samsung, Starbucks, Top Man, Debenhams, Which?, Lacoste, Euler Hermes and Wall Street Institute.

Bigmouthmedia is a Deloitte Fast Growth winner and a 2007 FT Best Place to Work. 2007 saw the company celebrate its tenth anniversary and global CEO Steve Leach celebrated a unique hat-trick of major business awards; UK Entrepreneur of the Year title at the National Business Awards and National Business Awards for Scotland, as well as UK Entrepreneur of the Year at the prestigious CBI-backed Growing Business Awards.

About the European Business Awards 2008:

The European Business Awards exists to recognise and reward excellence, best practice and innovation in companies across the European Union. Extensive research and high standards of judging has established the European Business Awards as the showcase of Europe’s skills, achievements and innovations in the field of business. Open to pan-European organisations of all sizes and from any industry sector – public or private – the programme allows top European businesses to showcase achievements, benchmark their success against companies of all types, and celebrate their vision and determination.

The European Business Awards is a self funding venture set up and run with the support of forward thinking organisations including: CMS Legal Services EEIG; Société Générale; Atradius; RSM International and The Wall Street Journal Europe.

Press Contact (International):

Emily Thorpe
Marketing Manager (International)
51 Timberbush
Tel: (+44)131 561 2179
Fax (+44)131 553 6800

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