The Annual 2006: Top 10 creative directors

1. RICHARD FLINTHAM

It's been a back-of-the-net year for Fallon's Flintham, and he doesn't even have to share the glory with Andy McLeod these days. Fallon has proven that creative integrity is the foundation of a successful agency, and there's little evidence of compromise on any of its output, whether it be the Cannes Grand Prix-winning work for Tate, Sony's "paint", or the gentle More Th>n campaign that finally put an end to Lucky the dog. Succession management saw Juan Cabral and Mica Walker promoted and ready to the fill the gap left by McLeod's move to become a director.

2. ROBERT SAVILLE AND MARK WAITES

What began as the worst possible start to the year - the loss of the Orange account - appeared to prove a blessing in disguise. In 2006, there was something of a return to creative form for Mother, with compelling work for Boots and Diageo, among others. Its Pot Noodle campaign divided opinion, but it showed something of the Mother of old: risk-taking and totally wacky.

3. TREVOR BEATTIE

Go on, admit it. You've hummed Chips, Glorious Chips at least once over the past six months. Rewriting panto lyrics for McCain was inspired, and the work for First Choice stood out. Love him or loathe him, Beattie has bucketloads of passion and an unmatched gift for persuasion. Just don't mention the Daily Express.

4. TONY DAVIDSON AND KIM PAPWORTH

Let's face it, it's a great creative department. And one can assume its chiefs played no small part in the agency's pitch success in 2006. However, there was only one creative humdinger - "St Wayne" for Nike. We wait - breath-baited - for the Wieden & Kennedy Guardian debut.

5. GRAHAM FINK

He hasn't shouted about it, but there's been a slow, steady improvement in M&C Saatchi's creative output since Fink joined more than a year ago. Work for ITV and Transport for London stood out and strong art direction in the "it's far from quiet in the country" work for Emmerdale and "ride your bike" work shows Fink has also reawakened the talents of Tiger Savage.

6. BEN PRIEST

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has found its mojo; there's a sense of energy seeping through the walls at Greater London House. In creative terms, this yielded solid work for Virgin Trains and Marks & Spencer, as well as a couple of poster belters for Virgin Atlantic.

7. PAUL BRAZIER

The film Grand Prix at Cannes reserves you a place here (even if it is for 2005 work). Brazier keeps a low profile, but runs a strong department that churns out above-average advertising across a range of clients. Think The Economist, think Homebase, think Sainsbury's.

8. JOHN O'KEEFFE

Although 2006 won't go down as O'Keeffe's best creative year, few would argue against the notion that Bartle Bogle Hegarty's creative department remains one of the strongest in London. It's bursting with senior talent - the most recent addition being the awards magnet Mark Reddy. Highlights of the year include print work for Audi and Lynx's "click".

9. JEREMY CRAIGEN

Party-guy Craigen didn't let the much-documented trials at DDB get him down. His willing smile kept spirits up as the account losses piled up. Creative highlights included print work for Harvey Nichols and a fun film for RHM's Nimble. Still, the departure of Justin Tindall was a blow.

10. ED MORRIS

Oh my! He's slipped a few places from the number one slot last year. Trouble is, Lowe's creative output has been, well, utterly forgettable in 2006. Let's give Morris the benefit of the doubt, and blame it on misguided clients not signing off the budgets that they used to.

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