THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Hottest direct marketing creatives

1. Steve Stretton at Archibald Ingall Stretton

A sparkling year for Stretton as Archibald Ingall Stretton has revived

its fortunes with fine work for Skoda and An inspirational

creative director still at the top of his form, Stretton is likeable but

has unforgiving standards. AIS continues to have one of the best

creative reputations in DM.

2. John Townshend at Rapier

Townshend is equally at home with DM or advertising. He knows exactly

what he wants and is tough with his department to encourage high

creative standards. Work for Channel 4 and HSBC has rivalled the

continued high standards of ntl work.

3. Gary Sharpen at Leonardo

The man behind much of the good Army below-the-line work at Saatchis is

experiencing a renaissance at Leonardo. The agency got off to a rocky

start but has bounced back with award-winning work for VSO and Kellogg

this year. Sharpen has a keen eye for an idea and is good at working

with young talent to bring this to fruition.

4. Simon Kershaw and Phil Keevill at Craik Jones Watson Mitchell


Creative standards remain high at Craik Jones despite a large increase

in the volume of work going through the department this year. Kershaw

and Keevill are helped by having more senior teams than most, but their

hard work has led to strong work on UDV (Gordon's and Baileys) and

Virgin Trains. Showing signs that they might need a long Christmas

lie-down after coping with the volume of work brought about by the

Orange win.

5. Steve Harrison at Harrison Troughton Wunderman

Usually a shoe-in at number one, but Harrison is going through something

of a transition period after HPT's reverse takeover of Wunderman. A

period of restructuring in the agency's creative department is a sign

that master craftsman Harrison is making the agency his own and this,

allied with the great Wunderman name, should ensure high standards.

Despite other distractions Harrison has overseen award-winning work for


6. Steve Aldridge at Partners Andrews Aldridge

Aldridge's small but well-formed department is there or thereabouts in

most awards and this thoughtful and obsessively good creative director

must take much of the credit. Surrounded himself with some old Wunderman

colleagues as well as fresh talent to ensure a healthy blend of youth

and experience.

7. Roddy Kerr and Arthur Parshotam at Lowe Live

Lowe Live's creative is of a consistently good standard. Saab, 3Com and

RBS Advanta have all been strong this year. There is still a feeling

that the quiet and modest Kerr and Parshotam can take things to a higher

level to match Lowe's heritage. Having reorganised things and made new

hirings the time for this to happen is now.

8. Rory Sutherland at OgilvyOne

One of the great individuals, Sutherland's enthusiasm and eccentricity

is a great asset to Ogilvy. He is capable of thinking across all media

and has a great passion for technology and the internet.

9. Mike Cavers at Publicis Dialog

Cavers has been busy this year injecting some quality into Publicis'

direct marketing operation. Things are already looking better and

Cavers' tenacity, outspokenness and genuine talent make him the right

man for the job. A welcome return after a few years abroad.

10. Ian Haworth at WWAV Rapp Collins

Haworth's return to WWAV so soon after leaving for Tequila shows how

highly they rate him. Well regarded throughout the industry, his

appointment as sole creative chief at WWAV London at last gives them a

creative direction, but the task ahead isn't an easy one.