THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Nicest People in Media


The mother hen of PHD and proof that successful women in advertising don't have to have more testosterone than their male counterparts. Alps is a key ingredient in PHD's intelligent, thoughtful positioning, a decent, loyal person in a business which doesn't have enough such.


Douglas McArthur's mountain of supporters bears testament to his popularity, which stretches well beyond the radio industry in which he has most latterly made his mark. For a man whose job was to hold a mirror up to the once shambolic world of commercial radio, over the ten years of the Radio Advertising Bureau's life McArthur has still made an army of friends rather than enemies.


The gentleman of the media industry, effortlessly charming and urbane, Marquis has a laid-back approach to the traditionally aggressive world of media. Some might say he's so nice because being nasty takes a little more effort. As his legion of friends would clamour to add, he is undoubtedly one of the nicest, most refined souls in what can still be a rather grubby business.


One of the last of a dying breed, Blakey - who himself retires next year - has managed to be both client and jolly nice chap, pulling off this most difficult of combinations with quiet modesty.


Would the managing director of The Mail on Sunday seem quite so nice if he didn't have the Daily Mail's acerbic Guy Zitter as a contrast? Those who know Mike Ironside best say that he's a rare beast among salesmen - honest, decent and still manages to be a damn fine lunch date too.


Being a founder of the oh-so-of-the-minute strategic company Naked might be an excuse to don a fashionably world-weary, superior attitude to life. But Wilkins still has the enthusiasm and the down-to-earth approach that marked him out when he was nothing but an unknown nice guy.


OMD's group chief executive is one of the original nice men of media, though his background as a TV trader suggests there's a steely side to his gentle demeanour. He certainly generates bags of loyalty and respect.


In the business of ITV, being nice is not necessarily much of an asset, but it hasn't done Mick Desmond much harm. The joint chief executive of ITV certainly doesn't attract the sort of lips-drawn-back, teeth-bared enmity that some of his peers do. But then neither does he inspire quite the genuine warmth enjoyed by a number of his ilk. But then that's one of the downsides of being nice.


Who said newspaper sales people had to have all the refinement of the used car dealer to succeed? Carolyn McCall, who rose through the sales ranks to become the managing director of The Guardian/Observer, has all the determination of the best sales practitioners with an engaging charm which has stood her in good stead in what is so often an aggressively male domain.


For vivacious charm and a wicked sense of humour, Stevie Spring added a new dimension to the outdoor business when she took over as the chief executive of Clear Channel. An all-round good egg, Spring manages to see the good side of the business, even in a recession.


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