Annual: Top 10 DM Creative Directors

1. Steve Aldridge

Known for his abilities as a pragmatic nurturer of young creative talent, this direct marketing stalwart has been rapidly ascending the ranks this year, while significantly improving the creative output at Partners Andrews Aldridge. His sterling work on Visit Wales, Lexus and Vodafone not only helped the agency nail its ultimate goal, selling to Engine, it also ensured he won't be short of a penny or two for a long time to come.

2. Colin Nimick

It was always going to be difficult for Nimick to top last year's incredible achievements, but that certainly didn't stop him trying. He produced more brilliant work for Cancer Research UK and BT, while also helping OgilvyOne to pull in new business in the form of British Airways and British Gas.

3. Caitlin Ryan

Ryan has had quite a year - along with having a baby and opening an Aussie-themed cafe just off Charlotte Street, she's managed to produce work that has earned Proximity more DMA nominations than anyone else. Her tasty work for Royal Mail, along with brilliant ideas for Volkswagen, suggests that those nominations are well deserved.

4. Paul Kitcatt

The appointment last year of Phil Keevil to work alongside Kitcatt has helped him step up his creative output to an even higher level. Fans say that Kitcatt's piano-playing skills alone should earn him a place on the list, but it's his particularly beautiful work on Waitrose and his poignant campaigns for the World Wildlife Fund that see him make his mark.

5. Dave Harris

Undoubtedly one of the industry's Mr Nice Guys, Wunderman's Harris effortlessly combines producing award-winning work for Land Rover and Brent Council with successfully nurturing young creative talent. He may seem keener to get his name on to the Annual's Best Dressed list, but we're afraid that he'll have to settle instead for deservedly being one of DM's best creatives.

6. Steve Stretton

As charismatic as he is talented, you only have to spend five minutes with Stretton to see why clients and young creatives alike want to work with him. He described Archibald Ingall Stretton's sale to Havas Media in May as "a whole new chapter", but his enthusiasm, tireless energy and quality of work hasn't changed a bit.

7. Cordell Burke

Confident, well mannered and hugely talented, Burke has proved that you can leave an agency after 15 years and still continue to prosper. He has formed an instant bond with Tequila's chief executive, Tim Bonnet, as well as playing a key role in helping the agency retain its prestigious British Army account.

8. Mike Cavers

You sense that the hugely driven Cavers will thrive next year when it comes to handling the mammoth Orange account, which Chemistry was awarded this year. The passionate Scotsman, who is a regular feature on award juries, has used 2008 to produce some of his best work, on both Transport for London and Emirates.

9. John Townshend

Rapier has had a bit of a quiet year compared with normal, but no list would be complete without Lord Townshend. Someone with whom you'd love to both work and share a beer, his infectious enthusiasm and ability to work across any medium guarantees his inclusion. His work on Virgin Media is glamorous, sexy and consistently well written.

10. Piggy Lines

Hotly tipped in the industry as one to watch for next year, Lines' calm and considered approach, combined with raw talent, has earned him a great deal of praise from his peers. His name had been associated with a number of posts before he moved to Carlson in September, and there's little doubt he'll take his agency on to new heights.