1. Craig Mawdsley and Bridget Angear
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s strategy heads have made it a hat trick in the top spot of this annual listing. Mawdsley continues to be an admired leader for the planning industry as the chair of The Account Planning Group and received the "Grand Prix of Grand Prix" for his work over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, his lower-profile – but equally prolific – partner, Angear, was a Cannes Creative Effectiveness juror this year. The Gunn Report named AMV the UK’s most-awarded agency for digital – testament to the pair’s work pushing non-traditional channels.
2. Lucy Jameson
Grey poached Jameson from DDB weeks after the Adam & Eve merger and hasn’t looked back. The energetic planner has been key to Grey London’s new-business drive, helping the shop win accounts such as United Biscuits in the UK and the global Gillette business. She balances the team out nicely and made the savvy move of bringing in Leo Rayman to handle the day-to-day running of the department. Grey London’s British Heart Foundation campaign impressed the Cannes judges and it was one of only two UK shops to win a Creative Effectiveness Lion.
3. Jason Gonsalves and Jonathan Bottomley
Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s power duo were promoted to joint chief strategy officers this year and have maintained their position at number three on the list. Creative effectiveness was at the heart of another strong year for BBH, which led to the shop becoming the most-awarded UK agency at the Marketing Society Awards for Excellence. In terms of creative output, BBH was still at the top of its game, with work such as "a nation divided" for The Guardian, "pals" for Robinsons and social campaigns including British Airways’ "race the plane" hitting the mark. Bottomley and Gonsalves can say that BBH is family: both their wives work at the agency and their children play together.
4. David Golding
Arguably one of the best brains in the business, Golding made sure the John Lewis work continued to dominate headlines with "the bear and the hare" Christmas campaign, while last year’s snowman love story, "the journey", bagged one of the UK’s only two Creative Effectiveness Lions at Cannes. Adam & Eve/DDB is an agency firmly in the ascendance, backed by strong thinking behind activity such as Marmite’s "Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it", which spoofed rescue documentaries and marked a triumphant return to TV for the brand.
5. Tracey Follows
The grounded Follows was the final piece in JWT’s leadership puzzle when she joined as a star hiring from VCCP. She has now spent a full year as its chief strategy officer and has lived up to the promise with award-winning work such as the Army’s "TA live" and by naming the new Android mobile operating system after a chocolate bar in a tie-up with Kit Kat. JWT is transforming and we sense that Follows has plenty more to bring to the table yet.
6. David Hackworthy
A darling of clients, Hackworthy is smarter than a Sunday suit and a perfect partner to Gail Gallie, Fallon’s charismatic chief executive. That said, the agency has been quiet this year – all eyes are on 2014 to see if it can recall its heyday. Behind the uneventful year, though, Hackworthy has been busy resetting the agency’s strategy and leading the planning on key business.
7. Richard Warren
Probably the cleverest man in probably the nicest agency in London, Warren found himself elevated to the sole chief executive role after the announcement that a second DLKW Lowe founding partner, Greg Delaney, was leaving. But it’s all credit to Warren that the agency managed to see off the threat posed by the £73 million Morrisons advertising review this year. While he tends to leave the limelight to his lifelong friend Tom Knox, Warren’s contribution is immense.
8. Richard Huntington
One of the big personalities in British planning, the contrary spirit of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Huntington hasn’t been silent this year. He continues to rubbish industry nonsense through writings detailing why "always on" is a turn-off and why the internet is nowhere near as good as the steam engine. Bravo.
9. Dylan Williams
In a year when Mother’s creative work hasn’t hit the peaks it once did, Williams drew on ideas from all sectors to keep its strategy future-facing. He spearheads Mother’s connection with Tech City and led a partnership with The Trampery to offer workspace to start-ups. New-business rewards included the Jacobs coffee global account, while work such as "time for change" for Ikea and "this is not a chocolate bar" for Green & Black’s packed a punch.
10. Russ Lidstone
One of the pioneering planners who made the switch to agency management, Havas Worldwide London’s Lidstone is as devoted to finding solutions to client problems as ever. While the loss of his executive creative director, Mick Mahoney, and the long search for a successor might have unsettled lesser men, Lidstone seamlessly managed the process.