1. Louise Jones, the brand planning director at PHD.
Last year's media planning Who's Who was dominated by a bunch of old
gits like Jonathan Durden, who wouldn't recognise a media plan if it
sneaked up on him in the street and bit him on the bottom. If you want
the truth of the matter, Louise is PHD's real planning guru these days.
One of the few planners who's sound on football matters, which is always
a good test.
2. Rosie Faulkner, MindShare's head of planning.
These days, the top planners do more that conjuring up a few mildly
amusing media wheezes and stunts. Clients look to the likes of Faulkner
to provide wider ranging business consultancy. They listen to what she
says, even when she disagrees with them.
3. Sarah Bussey, the head of planning at OMD.
As with PHD, so with OMD. Forget the agency's old git
planning-genius-type-person, Mark Palmer. Sarah's where it's at,
whatever it is. "Whereas Mark rushes in starting all sorts of fires,
Sarah is far more considered," one observer explains . "She's analytic
and diagnostic. She sees all the angles."
4. Tony Regan, PHD's joint managing director.
Talk about an embarrassment of riches. Tony was a founder of Michaelides
& Bednash before being poached by the Real Madrid of planning
excellence. It's not really fair on the others, is it?
5. Peter Edwards, the business director of Starcom Motive.
Recognised as a true star within the media fraternity, Edwards has yet
to build a wider profile in the advertising industry. Not for long will
he be the agency's best-kept secret.
6. Kevin Brown.
Described by admirers as ramshackle but awesome. Left Starcom Motive to
found Soul, an exotic entity that older readers might succeed in
identifying as a full-service advertising agency. People often ask Kevin
where he gets his ideas from. And do you know what he replies? "Cheers."
That's the sort of talk that goes down a storm at Campaign.
7. Ben Hayes, the media strategy director of Manning Gottlieb Media.
Having joined Manning Gottlieb Media, he's bound to get the sort of
recognition that was hard to achieve within Saatchis' near-invisible
media department. He's said to have the classic planner's combination of
passion and intellect. One source added that he has "a good bedside
manner". What's that all about?
8. Gerry Boyle, the director of planning at Zenith Media.
We'd like to find an excuse for leaving him out, seeing as he was in our
list last year, but everyone talks about how much of an impact he
continues to make at, probably, the hardest planning job in town. Which
is why he's in. But that's it. No more exceptions, not even for ...
9. Mark Palmer.
Oh, all right then. But small denomination, used notes, if you don't
mind please, Mark. And yes, you will definitely be placed above Durden.
10. Jonathan Durden.
Jonathan likes to tell anyone who's prepared to listen that he may be an
old git ... but he still plans. Even though he's the chairman, even
though there's all that gold braid on his dress uniform and even though
he takes the salute from the raised dais at the PHD march-past on his
birthday. Despite all that, he planneth mightily. It's in his blood,
see. In fact, he claims to be the only one of his generation (apart from
Mark Palmer - Ed) that is still actually doing it. Sad really, isn't it?
Last year, the Campaign Book of Lists described Durden as the
grandfather of planning. This year, we salute him as the Old Testament
Patriarch of Planning.