Blackburn's eBusiness UK has earned a coveted Big Chip Ten award in recognition of the specialist web marketing techniques it has employed to the benefit of local businesses.

One story in particular caught the attention of the judging panel - that of RU Comfy which, thanks to eBusiness UK, has cut tens of thousands of pounds from its advertising bill whilst seeing an increase in orders.

The Lancashire Telegraph IT and Technology award holders took the prize at a showcase dinner held in Manchester - hosted by TV's Terry Christian and also played out online on the popular Second Life website.

eBusiness UK was commended for its innovative use of search engine optimisation, meaning that RU Comfy, a Blackburn-based beanbag furniture company, ranked so well on sites such as Google that it was able to cut advertising spend by £50,000.

Kam Kothia, managing director of eBusiness UK, said: "We are very proud of the award. Big Chip is an important brand in our industry, and to take the award home to East Lancashire ahead of all the city-based agencies which usually dominate is a feather in our cap."

RU Comfy's Geoff Jnr said: "Our business was originally built around supplying the large chain stores but now a huge percentage is generated through our website - incorporating both online sales and increased footfall to our factory shop.

"The internet has provided us with a whole new market, and eBusiness UK's search engine optimisation has managed to cut our advertising bills by tens of thousands of pounds a year and yet we are still enjoying increased sales.

Geoff added: "Cutting costs and seeing a greater return on investment is what it is all about."