Smart, passionate, dynamic, original, talented but, above all, younger than you. It's that time of year again, when Campaign names its Faces to Watch. Sickening, isn't it?

- Johnny Shaw, 29 - Grey London

Planner Johnny Shaw has already made his mark at Grey. The agency's win of the £5 million Air Miles account owes much to his input. And clients love him, Grey's chief executive, Garry Lace, says: "He's determined, highly focused and a great lateral thinker." This Ulsterman with an Oxford English degree might never have been a planner at all. He won a scholarship to spend 18 months in Tokyo learning Japanese. But Shaw makes no secret of his ambition to be a planning chief. "Ultimately, I want to have a crack at establishing my own way of working," he says. Meanwhile, his period in Japan has left him with a passion for karaoke.

- Dave Wilding, 27 - MindShare

MindShare's prodigy Dave Wilding has put together numerous innovative deals and media firsts. After graduating from Liverpool University with a politics degree, he worked at Zenith Media before joining MindShare in 2001 and working his way up to become a business director. Last year, he won the best grocery, soft drinks and household category at the Campaign Media Awards for the Kit Kat "Britain's biggest break" campaign. "Dave is one of our most creative people, and beneath that polite demeanour is a tough-as-nails negotiator," Kelly Clark, the chief executive of MindShare, says.

- Matt Edwards, 30 Lowe

A graduate in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford, who started life as an account handler, Matt Edwards worked on some of Lowe's most awarded campaigns - Stella Artois, Heineken and Nestle Double Cream - before becoming the new-business director. Jeremy Bowles, the managing director at Lowe, describes him as a fantastic all-rounder. He says: "He is great with creatives and clients and he is strong strategically." Edwards launched his advertising career in 1994 at Saatchi & Saatchi after turning his back on his intended profession as an investment banker. And it was soon apparent he had made the right choice.

- Kevin Clapson, 23 - Manning Gottlieb OMD

At 23, Kevin Clapson already has four years' media agency experience under his belt. Clapson started out in media when he landed a job in Zenith Media's accounts department in 1999. He soon moved to the press department, quickly landing a buying job when he complained that graduate trainees were coming in above him. Now at Manning Gottlieb OMD, he is working in a brand group on Mitsubishi and V2 records, planning and buying press and non-broadcast media. Peter Edwards, an account director at Manning Gottlieb, says: "Kevin's an excellent buyer. There are a lot of ways to get what you want, some people rant and rave, but Kevin gets what he wants by being very professional."

- Phil Holbrook, 30; Liam Donnelly, 26 - Partners Andrews Aldridge

The creative duo Liam Donnelly (right) and Phil Holbrook were first united in 2001 at Proximity London when the agency was created out of the merger of the direct marketing shop BHWG and the sales promotion agency Clarke Hooper. In just two years together, Donnelly and Holbrook have made their mark with witty, humorous campaigns that strike a chord with their target markets, and have been rewarded with a string of industry accolades.Their student TV Licensing work struck straight to the heart of university life with the "practice safe telly" campaign. The creative, which used traditional direct marketing such as a mailing and inserts as well as a mock condom box containing an application form, parodied traditional safe-sex awareness drives. The campaign picked up gold and silvers at the recent DMA Awards in December .The team has recently been poached by Partners Andrews Aldridge. The creative director, Steve Aldridge, thinks their "edgy and off-beat style, with flair and cut-through" will help the agency move on to the next level.

- Gavin Johnson, 29 - IDS

In an industry that can on occasion be both ruthless and insincere, the group head of ad sales Gavin Johnson stands out as one of the media industry's nice blokes. He joined the now-defunct ITV sales house Laser as a sales assistant after graduating from the University of Central London with a business studies degree and his inherent decentness, combined with large doses of hard graft, has propelled him up the greasy pole. Since joining the multichannel sales house IDS in 2000, he has really shone. Working with Carat, Johnson helped to push through some of the biggest (and most innovative) sponsorship deals in the history of IDS for UK Style. In a tie-up with the Green Zone on the channel, Daihatsu is now sponsoring the gardening strand - Ground Force, Garden Invaders and the like - to highlight the car's environmentally friendly credentials. To describe Johnson as a passionate West Bromwich Albion supporter would be a bit of an understatement and he is attempting to reduce his golf handicap to single figures by the end of the year.

- Charlotte Topp, 27 - PHD

After leaving Leeds University with a degree in cultural communications with media, Charlotte Topp flirted briefly with a career in the outdoor industry. But after just a year as a junior planner at Posterscope, she was poached by PHD to work as a planner on Egg, the BBC, Prudential and O2: her O2 work was nominated for an IPA Effectiveness Award. In 2003, she was promoted again to media group manager and played a central role in PHD's successful pitch for the Revlon business. "Charlotte is a meticulous, yet intuitive, planner. She is a real asset to the agency," Morag Blazey the managing director of PHD, says.

- Tanya & Tash Michaels, 27 - Large Corp

Sister act Tash (right) and Tanya Michaels were signed as directors by Spectre in early 2003 before the company merged with Stark Films to become Large. Their short film "shark", which depicted sharks as cars, was the inspiration for fellow Large director Danny Kleinman's "fish" spot for Audi. Just 27, the sisters graduated from St Martin's where Tash specialised in illustration and Tanya in photography, film and design, and went on to take a Masters in photography, communication and design at the Royal College of Art. Bertie Miller, a joint managing director at Large, says: "Their work is full of strong visual ideas. The photography is rather understated and beautifully framed."

- Caroline Devys, 27 - Starcom Motive

Caroline Devys started at Motive International in 1997, having graduated from a four-year degree in European business administration. Group account director Devys, who was born in France and moved to London in 1996, has worked on clients as varied as Polaroid, Bulgari perfume, Lego and Levi's, managing the delivery of ad campaigns in up to 25 markets. Ian Clarke, the international client services director at Starcom Motive, says: "She understands the culture of international media. She is very driven and fantastic at account management." Despite a love of London, she claims she will remain faithful to her Gallic roots: French food, cinema and photography are top of her list of interests.

- Kate Morse, 28 - St Luke's

Kate Morse handles St Luke's largest account - BT - with aplomb. "She looks friendly and is always delightful to deal with but in reality she is tough as old boots," Neil Henderson, a joint managing director at St Luke's, says. Morse joined St Luke's almost three years ago after starting her advertising career at D'Arcy, where she worked on clients including COI, Procter & Gamble, Masterfoods and Wickes. At St Luke's, Morse has worked exclusively on BT. Most recently, she managed BT's assault on the directory enquiries market with the "Post-it notes" campaign. BT's head of advertising, Colin Wise, described her performance - which was made more difficult because it was an entirely new category for all the players entering the market - as "exemplary".

- Lisa de Bonis, 26 - Mother

It's not just Lisa de Bonis' ability to deliver strategies for some of Mother's most prestigious accounts that makes her a Face to Watch, according to the Mother partner Stef Calcraft. He says: "She is creative, insightful, challenging and supremely capable, winning trust and confidence from everyone she works with." De Bonis joined Mother as a strategist last February after a spell at BDDP et Fils in Paris. At Mother, she has a reputation for tackling head-on some of the biggest challenges in the business. They don't come much bigger than Coca-Cola, and it is a tribute to the Amercian-born strategist that she has been entrusted with the brief of cracking the core Coke brand and making it relevant to the UK market - something many before her have tried and failed to do.

- Rick Hirst, 28 - Fallon

As the account manager on Sony, Rick Hirst is regarded as one of Fallon's best operators. He has more than risen to the challenge of juggling the huge workload an account such as Sony brings , and has helped the agency get more than 40 press ads and several series of TV campaigns out the door. This fresh-faced football fanatic got his first break in advertising at CheethambellJWT in Manchester after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in law. He is as renowned for his commitment as he is for his dress-sense. Michael Wall, a partner at Fallon, says: "Rick has the right blend of maturity, advertising skill and ambitions. Once he grows out of his disco wardrobe, he'll be a force to be reckoned with."

- Claire Jackson, 28 - Archibald Ingall Stretton

Claire Jackson was hired by Archibald Ingall Stretton in the autumn to boost its planning operation after it won the £24 million O2 below-the-line consumer business. Jackson moved to AIS after four years at Royal Mail. She joined Royal Mail on its management access programme and was appointed advertising and promotions manager, moving up to loyalty communications manager. She has made an impression at AIS, winning its "smart arse of the month" award within weeks of arriving, a result of being "smart and self-assured beyond her years", according to the AIS head of planning, Carole Lowe.

- Eloise Smith, 25; Natalie Ranger, 26 - Rainey Kelly

The talented duo of Eloise Smith (top) and Natalie Ranger are the only all-female creative team at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. They first met on the advertising course at Watford. Despite having worked in advertising for just two years, the ambidextrous pair - who both art direct and write - have already produced print and TV campaigns for some of the agency's most illustrious clients. Their work includes the launch of the tabloid Times, Lego Clickits and "Red Academy", a viral ad that spoofed the Orange Academy. James Murphy, the managing director of RKCR/Y&R, says: "Nat and Ellie always deliver very strong responses to the most demanding briefs and they're great on pitches - thoughtful, mature and very, very determined." Incidentally, Smith is a professional fencer, the British number one, and recently won her second Commonwealth gold medal. She plans to build on her medal success at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

- Chris Bovill, 27; John Allison, 26 - TBWA London

Chris Bovill (left) and John Allison picked up a D&AD Pencil in their first year in advertising, for the John Smith's "babies" spot. In their two years with TBWA, they have made eight TV spots for clients including John Smith's and PlayStation, idents for Nissan and a campaign for The Sun. Awards include two D&AD Pencils, two golds and a silver at the BTAA and a platinum, gold and silver at Creative Circle. The duo met on the Manchester Metropolitan University design and art direction course. During their placement at TBWA, Trevor Beattie informed them that "your book is shit" before adding: "But we thought the work inside was excellent." Of their top four hates, Linda Barker takes the top three, followed by gas bills. Top of the likes list are backlit waterfall curryhouse pictures (an influence in the setting of a number of the John Smith's ads?), Arnie one-liners and free lunches.

- Dave Bedwood, 29; Sam Ball, 28 - Tribal DDB

Sam Ball (right) and Dave Bedwood are at the top of their game having already nailed down the title of joint creative directors at one of the hottest digital agencies around. The pair met at Bucks College in 1995 and in 1998 clinched a D&AD silver at the student awards. After a raft of placements and 11 months on the dole, they went freelance and headed to Germany, landing a job with Springer & Jacoby Hamburg to work on Mercedes. By 1999, they were missing home and landed at the online division BMP Interaction. They achieved creative director status in 2001, presiding over the rebrand of the division to Tribal DDB. They have produced work for clients including Pot Noodle, The Guardian, Vodafone and Gillette. Their Touareg campaign was the number-one new-media campaign in Campaign's 2003 Book of Lists.

- Leo Premutico, 25 - Saatchi & Saatchi

Saatchis' executive creative director, Tony Granger, hired the Australian-born copywriter Leo Premutico from Colenso New Zealand, part of the BBDO network, last year. His awards tally speaks for itself. His work for the trade magazine Julian Wolkenstein secured him a gold Lion in Cannes. His Auckland Regional Council litter campaign also won awards, both at Cannes and the One Show. "My aim has always been to have an unfair share of the best talent locally, as well as from the rest of the world. Leo adds a unique dimension," Granger says. At Saatchis, Premutico produced the next phase of Coco De Mer's "orgasms" campaign and has also worked on Toyota, Lexus and Lion cereal. He's been teamed with the art director Jan Jacobs, who is a senior creative and the head of art.

- Russell Mitchinson, 28 - WCRS

Russell Mitchinson has been impossible to miss since starting at WCRS in 1998. He graduated from Oxford in psychology and philosophy, and joined as an account handler but moved almost immediately into planning. He holds the position of strategic brand planner and was recently promoted to the associate board. "He brings a touch of his glamorous lifestyle - a mix of vacuous celebrity-filled parties and Buddhist retreats - into his work," Debbie Klein, the head of planning at WCRS, says.

- Alex Blaikley, 27 - Daily Telegraph

A graduate from Liverpool John Moore University, the display sales executive Alex Blaikley has been at The Telegraph for 18 months after spells at The Scotsman and Daily Express. Some of his key work has been with Intiative on Vauxhall. Blaikley has also been involved in some of the paper's more cutting-edge projects, including a campaign for Tourism Ireland. Chris White-Smith, the group sales director at The Telegraph, says: " He's creative and balanced and I know he has a really big future. I'm pleased he's on our side."

- Charlie Dundas, 27 - MediaCom

While many in media admit they fell into their profession more by chance than design, Charlie Dundas, a sponsorship manager, has always fancied getting into sport sponsorship. It's cheesy, he says, but his inspiration was Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. Dundas joined MediaCom in 2001. There he has impressed contacts by convincing advertisers to move more of their budgets below the line into sponsorship - or "affinity" marketing" as he calls it. "Charlie is very bright, knows the business inside out and has been very proactive pushing the new division, SponsorCom," Griff Leader, the international sales manager for Eurosport, says.

- Matt Doman, 30; Ian Heartfield, 30 - AMV BBDO

Matt Doman (left) and Ian Heartfield plan to be famous one day, but right now are making the most of working on accounts they've always wanted to work on at the agency where they've always wanted to be employed, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Their partnership began at Bucks College in the mid-90s. Since joining AMV, their print work for the NHS anti-smoking campaign has won much praise. Its striking simplicity is characterised in a poster with the words "If you smoke, I smoke", apparently written in crayon by a child. "Matt and Ian are quiet and thoughtful and concerned about their craft," Peter Souter, AMV's executive creative director, says.

- Fern Miller, 29 - JWT

Fern Miller picked up the top honour at last year's Account Planning Group Creative Planning Awards for Kit Kat while also collecting gold in the best established products category for her "have a break" work. She joined JWT in 1999 after two years at Delaney Fletcher Bozell as a trainee planner. At JWT, Miller has spent the past year working on Nestle, the RNIB and the Quorn account. But the Oxford English graduate also has a flair for writing and is taking a sabbatical this year to begin her first adult novel. Marco Rimini, the head of planning at JWT, said: "She has the mental agility to see round corners better than almost anyone. She will be a powerful voice in adland if the world of fiction doesn't grab her. Or maybe she'll just become annoyingly good at both."

- Ben Slater, 28 - CHI

Ben Slater has a tremendous sense of fun that he applies to all of his dealings with clients and colleagues at Clemmow Hornby Inge. Slater, a graduate in politics from Leeds University, started out in the postroom at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in October 1998. His humour and ambition were noticed, and he was offered a place in account management. By the time he left, in April 2002, he was working on BT, Guinness and in new business. At CHI, he continues to work on new business, but also handles the Heineken and Carphone Warehouse accounts. Sarah Gold, the new-business director at CHI, says: "Agencies need great characters. And Ben is certainly one of ours. It's his passion for great work and his utter dedication to the job that make him one of the industry's stars."

- Patrick Ryan, 29 - Media Planning Group

Patrick Ryan has just been promoted to international client service director and deserves it. He pieced together the global "brand refresh" campaign for InterContinental Hotels, almost single-handedly. The project, which scooped a Campaign Media Award, was immense. In the months before launch, "I had no life, no girlfriend and slept in a cat basket under my desk," he recalls. Characteristic, Dominic Stead, MPG's managing director, says "of one who always looks to go beyond the ordinary".


- Luke Thownsend

On the back of his Faces to Watch appearance last year, Thownsend had various job offers but left Clear Channel for Classic FM. He now works as a senior agency executive and, as well as working with Classic FM's three largest agencies, he manages a small team.

- Sam Finlay

Finlay spent eight months as the acting ad manager on IPC's tx group and enjoyed a record-breaking revenue year. In December, he was promoted to ad manager in IPC's top secret Special Projects Division and will be working on the new IPC magazine Nuts. "Being IPC/Time Warner's first major launch and also the biggest UK magazine launch ever, this is a very exciting opportunity for me," he says.

- Bonnie Horton and Charlotte Horton

This twin creative pair remained at AMV BBDO, where they developed The Economist campaign across Europe, as well as popping to New Zealand for a Maltesers shoot. They are also behind the new Responsible Drinking campaign.

- Steve Parker

In 2003, Parker was promoted to joint UK buying director at Starcom Motive. "I now take a leading role in new-business presentations, which is a change," he says "but more, there is a greater depth to my responsibilities, meaning I can touch every bit of the agency."

- Mike McCoy

McCoy was promoted to a managing role at Vizeum UK and he now heads a team of three, working across Disney and HBOS. His role was also expanded beyond TV buying to radio and cinema. Ever ambitious, McCoy promises: "This year will be a biggie in terms of doing something really fantastic."

- Antony Nelson and Mike Sutherland

Despite some Creative Circle wins for their NSPCC work at the start of the year, Nelson and Sutherland left the Saatchi fold and joined Fallon. Here, they have been working on the Skoda and Sony clients, as well as getting involved in pitches for BT and Wrangler. "It's been a bit of an ambition to work with Richard Flintham and Andy McLeod and so far it's living up to all expectations," Nelson says.

- Tamsin Davies

Davies remained in her planning role at Fallon and headed teams working on BBC Digital and Sony. This year sees the big step up as she is promoted into a business development role, carved out specifically for her.

- Laurence Parks

Parks has his hands full planning BMP's recently won Kwikfit account as well as working on Knorr, Marmite and Sexual Health. He's also keen to help the planning stars of the future and is in charge of BMP's graduate planning training scheme.

- Chrys Philalithes

Espotting's marketing director, Philalithes certainly made an impression last year, claiming a place in The Guardian's top 50 women to watch in Britain. In 2003, she helped double the size of the company in terms of staff and clients, as well as being involved in scooping a big industry award.

- Emily Shephard

Craik Jones had a great year in 2003, winning Campaign's Direct Agency of the Year. Likewise, Shephard, an account director, had a successful year and was involved in winning various national and international awards. She remains an account director on ATOC and Orange, with the recent addition of the NatWest business.

- Feargal Ballance and Dylan Harrison

BMP's copywriter Harrison and art director Ballance picked up awards galore in 2003, particularly for their work on Volkswagen but also for Marmite. At the moment, the creative pair are working on ads for The Guardian and Nikon and this year will see more work for VW and a new, Douglas-less campaign for Lurpak.

- Ester Hjellum and John Robb

The highlight of last year for the creative pair Hjellum and Robb was some animated work for Robinson's Fruit and Barley while at HHCL. "It was good to do something so different and get a new perspective," Robb says. A move to Publicis finished their year with a bang.

- Gavin May

Strategist Gavin May continues to work at Naked. His big project last year was to develop the Fray Bentos "real bloke challenge", which won two commendations at the Campaign Media Awards.

- Sarah Buller and Kerry Bell

After a nine-month stint with McCann Relationship Marketing, the creative team Buller and Bell moved to Craik Jones. They already have work in the offing for the clients First Direct, Orange, Marks & Spencer and NatWest. "We've always seen Craik Jones as one of the top places to work so it's a great step to have got here," Bell says.