Campaign Annual 2007: Top 10 DM Creative Directors

1. Colin Nimick

This looks like being the first of many occasions that Nimick will grace this list. The softly spoken and forward- thinking creative has achieved an incredible amount at OgilvyOne this year and is respected by many in the industry for raising the creative bar within the difficult and challenging climate of an international network shop.

His most highly acclaimed work, the "smoke is poison" campaign for Cancer Research, was by far the most awarded DM campaign of 2007, achieving a gold and silver at the Campaign Direct Awards as well as gold and silver Lions at Cannes.

2. Paul Kitcatt

The gentle-mannered and press-shy Kitcatt has a reason to start singing from the rooftops after significantly improving Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw's creative output this year. He proved the sceptics wrong, producing some beautifully crafted work for Waitrose and Booktrust, which have already attracted the attention of the Direct Marketing Association's awards jury.

3. Rebecca Rae

Despite a turbulent year for Craik Jones, its creative work has continued to be top notch, and many feel the loss of accounts such as Land Rover were unjustified given the quality of Rae's creative product. She continues to create intelligently executed work for Virgin Trains and Unilever, and has again this year picked up a number of creative accolades including Campaign Direct Awards for her work on Refuge, Gordon's Gin and First Direct.

4. Steve Aldridge

This regular on Campaign's list continues to inspire many of his industry peers. Although his agency, Partners Andrews Aldridge, hasn't matched previous years, Aldridge has produced excellently crafted creative work on Visit Wales and Lexus, ensuring the independent shop maintains its strong creative reputation.

5. John Townshend

The master of direct TV is still successfully competing with the big boys in above the line, producing pioneering and glamorous TV commercials for the likes of Virgin Media and the AA. Rapier's output consistently reflects Townshend's vivacious and flirtatious personality, which makes him one of the most popular creatives around.

6. Dave Mullen

One of the unsung heroes of the industry, Mullen's self-effacing nature continues to command the respect and admiration of his more media-fond creative compatriots. His creative work for Glenmorangie has seen his Scottish agency, Story, appear on award nominations lists with increasing frequency.

7. Steve Stretton

Stretton's infectious commitment to developing talent makes him a popular choice among his industry peers. Although Archibald Ingall Stretton has had an uncharacteristically lacklustre year, Stretton's humorous work on Skoda and O2 doesn't fail to impress, securing the agency a Campaign Direct silver for Best Integrated Campaign.

8. Caitlin Ryan

It's great to see more women gracing the list of creative directors, and Ryan's presence in this year's rundown is well deserved. The Aussie's consistently well-executed ideas, especially those on Save the Children, as well as her ability to nurture her creative teams at Proximity, has earned her many recommendations for this year's list.

9. Darren Kay

Kay has reinstated creativity as a core principle at Tullo Marshall Warren. As well as driving the craft of copywriting by establishing a training course for young copywriters, he's got a knack for cajoling great work out of his teams and scooping in clients such as Nissan.

10. Cordell Burke

Despite his move away from his creative home at Ogilvy, the Tequila creative is still regarded as one of the best creative minds in the business, and his work on Carbon Trust has gained him the attention from awards juries that he deserves.