After much anticipation, US affiliate network Rakuten LinkShare has announced the winners of its Golden Link Awards.

Judged with the assistance of PerformanceIN’s very own content director, Chris Johnson, the ceremony celebrated excellence and innovation in performance marketing industry stateside.

Heading the list of winners were Kohl’s for best new advertiser and, who topped the list of nominees for best new publisher. Another winner on the night was Wall-Mart, which scooped the award for the most innovative advertiser or publisher.

As for the categories focusing on individuals, Sephora’s Lindsay Chastain and Jennifer Goodwin of Eckim won prizes for advertiser affiliate manager of the year and publisher affiliate manager of the year respectively.

Rakuten Marketing’s president Tony Zito highlighted how submissions had become more evolved in this, the awards’ 12th year.

“Now in its 12th year, our panel of industry judges has noted that the selection process has become increasingly more challenging given the high volume of quality submissions,” said Zito.

For a complete list of award winners, see the full breakdown below:

  • Best New Advertiser: Kohl’s
  • Best New Publisher:
  • Most Innovative (Advertiser or Publisher): Wal-Mart
  • Affiliate Manager of the Year (Advertiser): Lindsay Chastain, Sephora
  • Affiliate Manager of the Year (Publisher): Jennifer Goodwin, Eckim
  • OPM Agency of the Year: OPM Pros
  • Best Advertiser and Publisher Collaboration: Macy’s and Brad’s Deals
  • International Strategy (TIE): Dealmoon and MATCHESFASHION.COM
  • Best Search Marketing Program:
  • Best Display and Retargeting Campaign: Chase
  • Rising Star (Advertiser): FarFetch
  • Rising Star (Publisher): Who What Wear
  • Advertiser’s Choice: Eckim
  • Publisher’s Choice: Best Buy