1. Jonathan Fowles
Fowles helped PHD become the first media agency to win an IPA Effectiveness award during his 15-year stint there. Now at Manning Gottlieb OMD, he is also responsible for helping the shop scoop the Grand Prix at this year’s IPA Effectiveness Awards and the Media Grand Prix in Cannes for its work for Google. Not a bad year’s work.
2. Simeon Adams
With more than 20 years’ experience in media, including time as a strategy director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Adams has been at the helm of award-winning campaigns for the Kingly Street agency and now Goodstuff Communications. At Goodstuff, where he is the managing partner, Adams channels top-class strategic thinking alongside the agency’s founding partner and planning guru, Ben Hayes. The pair are helping Goodstuff punch above its weight at industry awards.
3. David Wilding
If David Pattison, Nick Horswell and Jonathan Durden were still working at PHD, they would have had to add another letter to the agency acronym: "W". Wilding’s intelligence and capacity for delivering fine insights are evident throughout the clever and creative planning that is part of the agency’s DNA. When his eyes open wide like Doc’s in Back To The Future, you know he’s on to a good thing.
4. Rian Shah
As one of Campaign’s 30 Under 30 this year, Zenith Media’s Shah has bowled over his agency and the industry alike. He led the strategic work on the agency’s biggest win in the past year – Royal Bank of Scotland Retail.
5. Matthew Hook
"Hooky" is back on UK shores after a two-year stint in New York. Having built his career at Vizeum UK, he has returned to the meaty job of leading Carat’s planning product. A Cambridge graduate, he is a thoughtful and cerebral personality. Planner friends at other agencies are worried about his return, because he is "really good".
6. Sue Unerman
As the chief strategy officer at the UK’s largest media agency, Unerman is responsible for ensuring the planning proposition for MediaCom’s 200-plus clients is market-leading. Not content with such a huge undertaking, Unerman also managed to co-author one of the most influential marketing books of 2012, Tell The Truth.
7. Hamid Habib
Habib has a solid reputation as a creative planner. As the head of the strategy, intelligence and ideas teams at MPG Media Contacts, he forms a credible double act with the agency’s strategy high priestess, Marie Oldham.
8. Stuart Sullivan-Martin
He may have slipped down the list a little, but MEC’s Sullivan-Martin is still at the top of his game. His highlight this year was winning the communications planning for the Department of Health and working on behaviour-change challenges, including the "Stoptober" campaign.
9. Matt Andrews
The former Mother strategy director made the switch back to media last year to join Mindshare. This, despite saying in 2008: "If I had stayed in media, my next job would have been a global strategy officer and I’d have ended up committing suicide in an airport toilet."
10. Richard Morris
Morris has that rare combination of planning talent and the ability to charm clients, which is why he is one of the few planners to have made it to a managing director role and take to it like a duck to water. Having taken over the reins from Grant Millar at Vizeum, the strategy-led agency is in extremely capable hands.