The A List 2007: The world according to the A Listers

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 08 December 2006 12:00AM

They may all be powerful and inspiring executives, but when it comes to the reading habits, driving habits, music tastes and postcodes of the people making up the Campaign A List, that's where the similarity ends.

You want dodgy music? We've got it! You want to know the most popular star sign among A Listers ? We've got that too! Here's a breakdown of the A List in terms of their media tastes and a few other mischievous categories too.

TOP 5 DAILY NEWSPAPERS

For the third year running, The Guardian proves itself as the newspaper where the who's who in media finds out what's what. Once considered too liberal for an industry that lives and dies by the commercial sword, The Guardian's relaunch seems only to have endeared itself further to the media trade. The Independent, first to go compact, and first-rate advertising columnist aside, clearly has yet to establish itself in the media community. The Daily Telegraph comes in at number four, somewhat surprisingly given the less conservative edge we might expect from our A Listers. Or maybe they are just intrigued by the editorial shenanigans there?

Rank Newspaper Votes
1 The Guardian 117
2 The Times 96
3 Financial Times 53
4 The Daily Telegraph 49
5 The Independent 36

TOP 5 SUNDAY NEWSPAPERS

With its excellent business section, plenty of features on skiing, top restaurants and the annual and much-copied Rich List, The Sunday Times clearly dominates the Sunday morning newspaper ritual of those A Listers who are able to avoid family duties for a read. The Observer, in second place, followed its daily partner The Guardian to Berliner format in 2006, a move which has aided its circulation. It's amusing to see the tabloids and mid- market papers so poorly represented here. Shouldn't a quick flick through the NoW be an essential ritual for media executives who are trying to get under the skin of the man in the street? Perhaps, but only 19 admitted to it.

Rank Newspaper Votes
1 The Sunday Times 211
2 The Observer 121

3 The Sunday Telegraph 24
4 The Mail on Sunday 20
5 News of the World 19

TOP 5 ADS

At the top of the favourite ads list, once again, is a commercial reflecting the communications industry's radicalism and creativity. BMP DDB's 1986 "points of view" ad for The Guardian remains a powerful advocate for the paper. "Photo booth", for Hamlet, has featured high up this ranking in previous years, but drops down this year. In its place, of course, there is Honda - whose body of work by Wieden & Kennedy makes everyone proud to work in or around the industry. No Levi's mentions in the top five this year - an indication of what some see as a falling off in creative potency at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Levi's long-standing agency.

Rank Advertiser Title Votes
1 The Guardian Points Of View 19
2 Guinness Surfer 18
3 Sony Bravia Balls 17
4 Blackcurrant Tango St George 9
5= Honda Impossible Dream 8
5= Honda Diesel 8
5= Hamlet Photo Booth 8

TOP 5 TRADE MAGAZINES

192 votes for Campaign? Ah, the wisdom and taste to be found among the advertising elite. Of course no-one is trying to retain their place in next year's A List by currying favour with the editor, dear me no. Anyway, moving swiftly on, in second place is The Economist, where the editor, Bill Emmott, signed off after 13 years in February. A combination of clever marketing and an increased global appetite for its opinionated, high-powered analysis of world events, succeeded in boosting global circulation to more than one million in 2006.

Rank Magazine Votes
1 Campaign 192
2 The Economist 40
3 Harvard Business Review 12
4 Creative Review 10
5 Marketing 9

TOP 5 MAGAZINES

The Week's motto - "All you need to know about everything that matters" - clearly appeals to time-poor A Listers who enjoy its non-partisan reviews of the week's most important news, arts, business health and science. Private Eye has fallen in popularity with adland's elite, as has The Spectator, while Traveller's escape fantasies have obvious and enduring appeal. Vanity Fair's heady mix of power and celebrity and its distinctly American point of view comes with swathes of luxury goods ads to satisfy professional curiosity.

Rank Magazine Votes
1 The Week 32
2 Private Eye 23
3 Vanity Fair 21
4 Conde Nast Traveller 19
5 The Spectator 18

TOP 5 BREAKFAST RADIO SHOWS

It is no contest, really. The advertising industry, unswerving as it is in advancing the cause of commercial media in an era of creeping state regulation, actually wakes up en masse to ... BBC Radio 4. Immovable at the top of this league with 188 votes, the Today programme has extended its lead since 2005 when it had 62 votes. The most surprising aspect of this listening league is that everything below the non-commercial Radios 4 and 5 is so lowly placed. No wonder the industry can't make radio commercials. It never listens to any.

Rank Station Show Votes
1 Radio 4 Today 188
2 Radio Five Live - 53
3 Capital FM Johnny Vaughan 16
4= Xfm Lauren Laverne 13
4= Virgin Christian O'Connell 13
5= Radio 2 Jonathan Ross 11
5= Radio 1 Chris Moyles 11
5= Heart - 11

TOP 5 TV PROGRAMMES

It's no surprise to see that a window on power and corruption - The West Wing - takes first place in this rather male-biased list of the viewing habits of adland's elite. In second place, Curb Your Enthusiasm - whose main callings cards can be depicted as an obsession with obscenity, TV taboos and downright amateurish photography is clearly an enticing proposition too. The cultish Sopranos, based on balancing the demands of a perilous day-job with the burdens of domestic harmony, also strikes a chord with the industry.

Rank Programme Votes
1 The West Wing 26
2 Curb Your Enthusiasm 21
3 The Sopranos 20
4 Top Gear 17
5 Match of the Day 11

TOP 5 WEBSITES

The bbc.co.uk website, formely BBCi and before that BBC Online, is claimed to be Europe's most popular content-led website as its clear lead here testifies. In roughly equal second place come Google, eBay, YouTube and Guardian Unlimited - all of whom have had a major impact on online culture. You thought cyber skivers using eBay and YouTube were mostly bored clerical workers whiling away the tedious hours until home time? These figures suggest many of them are people who hold down big jobs in workaholic media organisations.

Rank Website Votes
1 bbc.co.uk 61
2 google.co.uk 21
3 ebay.co.uk 20
4 youtube.com 19
5 Guardian Unlimited 16

TOP 5 ALBUMS

Frequently hailed the "best British album of all time", the A Listers' favourite, The Stone Roses, is perhaps a predictable choice. With tracks such as I Wanna Be Adored and I Am The Resurrection providing the soundtrack to many A Listers' lives, it is no surprise adland reeks with optimism and swagger. The second album of choice is the psychedelic 70s classic Dark Side Of The Moon, a legendary briefcase rock classic all over the world. The timeless Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band comes in third, the attraction of its experimentation and hallucinogenic humour penetrates through adland's generational spread. Equally popular, The Clash's London Calling forms an essential listen for a number of A Listers.

Rank Artist Title Votes
1 The Stone Roses The Stone Roses 11
2 Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon 10
3= The Beatles Sgt. Pepper 8
3= The Clash London Calling 8
4 Radiohead OK Computer 6
5 Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks 5

TOP 5 BOOKS

"Men went mad and were rewarded with medals." Or should that be "Men went mad and were rewarded with Aston Martins"? Adland's most popular book - Catch 22, with its disorderly collection of unhinged characters and a doomed hero who's constantly trying to save his own skin - bears striking similarities to the adversities faced by agency executives. The harrowing masterpiece Birdsong is also a popular favourite and perfect for an industry that likes its old-fashioned heroes but also enjoys a quiet weep on the side. The coming-of-age novel The Kite Runner takes third place on our literary list.

Rank Book Author Votes
1 Catch 22 Joseph Heller 9
2 Birdsong Sebastian Faulks 7
3 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini 6
4= Any Human Heart William Boyd 4
4= Great Expectations Charles Dickens 4
4= Lord Of The Rings J R R Tolkien 4
4= It's Not About The Bike Lance Armstrong 4
4= Middlemarch George Eliot 4
4= Decline And Fall Evelyn Waugh 4
5= A Prayer For Owen Meany John Irving 3
5= Crime And Punishement Dostojevsky 3
5= If This Is A Man Primo Levi 3
5= Perfume Patrick Suskind 3
5= Pride And Prejudice Jane Austen 3
5= The Fountainhead Ayn Rand 3
5= The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson 3
5= The Little Prince Antoine de Saint Exupery 3
5= The Magus John Fowles 3

TOP 5 CARS

Mercedes - the personification of prestige - is the industry's preferred steed, with VW, BMW and Audi in hot pursuit. That the Mini sneaks in with 28 mentions offers a parable for the industry - the Cooper, after all, was reinvented for the 21st century, its mechanics are thoroughly modern, while its character remains essentially unchanged. Forever associated with James Bond, the Aston Martin gets a few mentions though not enough to trouble this table. As the playboy's express, it is heart-stoppingly gorgeous, with a wonderful tweedy, British elegance. M&C Saatchi's Moray MacLennan personified, in other words.

Rank Marque Votes
1 Mercedes 58
2 VW 48
3 BMW 47
4 Audi 37
5 Mini 28

TOP 5 TECHNOLOGY

No self-respecting A Lister would be caught listening to any other MP3 player than Apple's iPod, while the favoured technology of last year's A Listers - the BlackBerry - is knocked into second place this year. Twenty-two years after its launch, Apple's Mac retains its place as the computer of choice for creative professionals. This must be thanks in part to the iMac, with its distinctive white case. It was introduced in 1988, a year after Steve Jobs returned to the company. Jobs, of course, is the A Listers' favourite entrepreneur - hopefully not for his legendary temper, which has not mellowed with age. Sky+ comes in with a hefty vote too, with Mother's Dylan Williams bidding to add himself to the industry's smug free Sky+ club: "I want Sky+" he writes in his entry.

Rank Item Votes
1 iPod 70
2 BlackBerry 44
3 Mobile phone 34
4 Sky+ 30
5 Apple Mac 16

NW3 - The most common postcode is Hampstead (NW3) with 21 A Listers living in or around the area. Islington, then Clapham come next.

78.2% ... of A Listers hold a degree or MBA (which means that 96 A Listers have no degree, proof that media continues to be an egalitarian choice of career).

85.7% ... of A Listers are men.

45yrs ... is the average age of A Listers in 2006. The oldest person (to reveal their age) was Ridley Scott, 68. The youngest is Juan Cabral, who's 28.

10.8% ... of A listers are Geminis with Cancerians next in line, at 9.9 per cent. Characteristics of Geminis: clever and communicative. Understanding and tolerant. Pessimistic. Able to liven up any social gathering.

26 - John/Jonathan is the most popular name for A Listers with 26 entries. Others: David and Mark with 18, Paul 16, Simon 14, Chris 13.

67 ... A Listers said their most humbling experience was becoming a parent, watching or being involved in the birth of their children. Two unlucky people stated being held at gunpoint as their most humbling experience.

MOST-ADMIRED ENTREPRENEURS

1. Steve Jobs - Apple's co-founder is the A Listers' king, with 10.3 per cent of votes. 10.3%

2. Richard Branson - From student mags to 200 Virgin companies in more than 30 countries. 8.8%

3. Charles Dunstone - Famously modest, he set up CWG at only 25. - 7.6%

A LISTERS IN THE FAMILY PECKING ORDER

Oldest child - 33.9%

Youngest child - 33.4%

Middle child - 24.1%

Only child - 8.6%

20% ... of A Listers say their greatest achievement is family and children - proving that they are conventional, perhaps, but reassuringly normal.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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