THE BOOK OF LISTS: Your starter for tens

In this Book of Lists, you will stumble on more bizarre facts than in any other issue of Campaign. Simon Marquis is the most famous twitcher in media. Mark Jarvis is the best media buyer in the UK in an objective measure of balding media buyers. John O'Keeffe and Jane Clemence are the seventh most powerful ad couple in the UK.

These unlooked-for honours would have escaped our notice altogether had not the last working week of 2003 been the excuse for us to junk our normal news-based issue. Since we launched this supplement in 2000, Campaign journalists have spent an unhealthy amount of time debating twitchers in media, balding media buyers, powerful media couples and the like.

This is the thing with rankings. We know they are silly but we cannot stay away. The best quotes list this year is particularly silly. There is not enough paper or ink in the world to reprint the best quotes. The sheer mass of guff expended in this business represents far too many attempts to lead us up the garden path.

But there is no limit to Campaign's desire to rank stuff. We do it with important things, such as the best ads in every medium, best scoops, biggest account moves. We do it with people, subdivided into planners, buyers, creatives, etc. We have searched hard this year for things that have not yet been ranked before, and that is why you have the ten best comments on the ITV merger (p23) and the ten most successful offspring (p42). The only rankings I am pretty confident do not exist are the ones that would be most useful: ten ways to stiff Campaign when they stiff you, for instance.

So there we are. I have exposed the methodology as hopelessly inadequate.

And rubbished not just the topics but the philosophy of ranking the unrankable.

Still, it's the most fun issue of the year to edit and, I hope, one of the best to read. Merry Christmas.

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