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 Virgin.net. 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
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
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.