1. Simon Daglish and Kelly Williams
ITV had a very successful 2013. The group commercial sales directors – "Kelly for the dough and Dags for the show" – have transformed the broadcaster’s sales offering over the past 24 months, and ITV won TV Sales Team of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards. Williams and Daglish have managed to rehabilitate ITV’s reputation with its customers.
2. Bruce Daisley
If 2013 was the year Twitter came of age and developed its commercial proposition, a lot of the UK credit should go to its country manager. After coming in as the sales director in early 2012, he built the team – including editorial and partnership people, as well as sales – and established its proposition. The UK is one of the best-performing markets for Twitter and, now that he is running the show, we hope for bigger things. And he manages all that while being genial.
3. Rosemary Gorman
In the traditionally male-dominated world of newspapers (and even more so at Mail Newspapers), Gorman seemed a surprising appointment to some. We’re not sure why. The group advertisement director has brought some welcome flexibility to the organisation and helped shift its culture from an uncompromising one to a collaborative one.
4. Dave King
Telegraph Media Group is constantly highlighted as one of the most innovative commercial teams out there. If its readership has a reputation (perhaps unfairly) for being a bit, well, long in the tooth, it is to the credit of the executive director and his team that agencies continue to cite TMG as a partner they look to work with. After nine years at the helm, the former managing director of Emap advertising has TMG’s sales team ticking over just fine. We can’t help but ask: are there bigger things still on the cards for King?
5. David Pemsel
The Guardian is on an interesting journey. It is looking to become a truly global digital voice, and its chief commercial officer is there to work out how to pay for it. Results so far look good – digital revenues were up 29 per cent to £55 million in the year to March, while initiatives such as GuardianWitness show there is real money in native advertising. After a few years of agencies moaning about Guardian News & Media’s lack of commercial drive, the former ITV group marketing director has really made a difference.
6. James Wildman
With a new chief executive and trendy acquisitions, Yahoo! is not going to go down without a fight. Since arriving at the company as the managing director and vice-president of sales, Wildman has swum deep into the digital waters. Yahoo! was the most improved company in the IPA’s Online Media Owner survey and has benefited from Microsoft’s scrapping of Hotmail and its demand-side platform-friendly inventory. The UK commercial proposition depends on a lot of things out of its control, but Wildman is making a good shot of it.
7. Spencer Berwin
JCDecaux continues to innovate and is expected to beat the outdoor market this year. This must be partly attributed to Berwin, its long-serving managing director of sales. JCDecaux has invested in a national digital proposition and an experiential arm, and brought more content to its screens. Under Berwin’s direction, the team always looks to help agencies and brands use the medium in more tactical ways. Despite fierce competition, JCDecaux topped off a good year by being named the Outdoor Sales Team of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards.
8. Nick Bampton
Channel 5 often feels that it does not get the credit it deserves for its commercial success. This year, although Bampton has been uncharacteristically quiet, Channel 5 has outperformed its rivals by quite a margin. Channel 5’s ad revenue is up by more than 15 per cent year on year – no mean feat for a traditional medium, even if the economy is picking up. Yes, its total sum is still smaller than that of fellow broadcasters, but the commercial sales director and his team should be applauded for their ability to bring in the money through innovative on-screen partnerships.
9. Mike Gordon
Since Gordon left News International to join Global Radio as its managing director, commercial, his team has not stopped winning awards. In November, Global Radio won the Cross Media Sales Team of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards for the fourth year running after bringing in £23 million in cross-media deals. With a team under Gordon that includes Martin Plant and Stuart Mays, Global Radio has acted like the market leader that it is.
10. Simon Davies
Davies proved those doubters, who thought he was just a dyed-in-the-wool newspaper man, very wrong when he joined Microsoft UK as its sales director and improved the company’s reputation. Reward came in the form of a promotion to general manager, West Coast, at Microsoft Advertising and a relocation to Santa Monica.