SIMON OWEN, 26 - Account director, Fallon
Owen studied a degree in business and marketing and spent his third year on a work placement at Skoda, where he first came into contact with Fallon.
On graduation, he was given work experience at the agency and, within weeks, was taken on as the first Fallon graduate trainee, working on Velvet and BT.
Less than a year later, he was promoted to account manager. His three-year-old advertising CV includes campaigns such as "soft factory" for Velvet, "fat gymnast" for Skoda and "balls" and "paint" for Sony.
Fallon's managing director, Karina Wilsher, says: "He has maturity and ability way beyond his years and experience. He's everything you want in an account man: incredibly 'on it', passionate about the work and utterly dependable. It's no surprise everyone wants him on their bit of business."
OLI KELLETT, 23; ALEX HOLDER, 23 - Creatives, Lunar BBDO
Although they've been at Lunar BBDO for less than a year, Holder and Kellett have already been awarded a coveted One Show gong for a Christmas tree recycling campaign they produced for Southwark Council.
The duo met at Central St Martins College of Art and Design and, after graduating, joined DDB London on a four-month placement. Their next stop was Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, where they caught the eye of the then executive creative director, Peter Souter.
Sadly, there were no jobs at the agency, but Souter recommended the pair meet Daryl Corps and Ben Kay, the creative partners at Lunar BBDO.
Corps says: "We have so much trust in them. We can throw any brief at them and we know they can handle it. They work incredibly hard, but they are also nice people."
LINDSAY GIBSON, 28 - Account manager digital channels, strategic sales, Channel 4
Channel 4 sales bosses say Gibson stands out because of her passion for the media business and a determination to succeed.
Mike Elsey, the strategic sales manager at Channel 4, explains: "Among a shortlist of applicants, she stood out by some margin. She had drive and determination and conveyed a real passion for the media business."
Gibson joined Channel 4 two years ago from Classic FM. She has already secured new solus business for the digital channels E4 and More4, having identified key sectors and brands which were not spending their media budgets on television.
She has also identified new commercial partnership opportunities, including E-Speak.
LESLEY WILLIAMS, 29 - TV producer, WCRS
Williams joined WCRS four years ago as an account assistant, and soon found herself using her photography background to oil the wheels of account management.
Williams had developed her own hidden camera set-up in a handbag, and often found herself employed by the WCRS founding partner Robin Wight to visit the Orange store to pick up vital information from the consumer frontline.
After being plucked from accounts three years ago, she continued her extramural activities for the good of the agency, and last year climbed Kilimanjaro to film a spot for NiQuitin. WCRS's head of television, Sarah Bailes, says: "Lesley is amazing. She has an instinctive understanding of the production process and incredibly high standards. Whatever form broadcast production takes in the future, I safely predict Lesley will be at the forefront of it."
CHRIS CAIRNS, 27 - Director, Partizan
Cairns, the director behind Coca-Cola's "fridge" and Radio One's "Chris Moyles" and "Zane Lowe" spots, dropped out of his Oxford languages course when he realised his true calling was graphic design and photography. Academia's loss was advertising's gain; in his final year at art school, he entered the Kodak Student Commercial Awards with a test film for NiQuitin. It won the editing category and came second in the brief.
After college, Cairns continued to make music videos and shorts, including a series of films for his flatmate, the musician Tom Vek. It was these films that caught the eye of Partizan's managing director, Madeleine Sanderson, who says of her youngest director: "Chris hit the ground running as soon as he joined and has staked his ground both in music videos and commercials. He's an amazing all-rounder."
MIKE FOLLETT, 28 - Planner, DDB London
This bright former Oxford student joined DDB as a fresh-faced graduate in 2000. After an eventful gap-year experience, teaching in East London and then Geneva, Follett turned his attention to the rigors of adland.
Follett started his planning career on the agency's Hovis and Felix accounts, and has since worked on Nestle Purina, Weetabix, Oxfam shops, Anadin and Cadbury Cakes.
His strategic ideas have also been integral to the Hasbro account, which he is currently running from the planning side as the strategic director.
Lucy Jameson, DDB's head of planning, says: "He's a very special planner because he's very entrepreneurial. His slight cardigan-wearing attitude hides a sharp business brain. He always comes up with things that are above and beyond the normal advertising ideas."
LAUREN BENSTEAD, 23; POPPY WILCOX, 24 - Creatives, Publicis
While at Buckinghamshire Chilterns College, the talented Publicis creative duo won the prestigious John Hegarty Award, which helped set them up with a placement at the great man's agency.
While there, they created the Birds Eye "block of ice" poster, which was a finalist in the Campaign Poster Awards in 2005. But the pair wanted to experience as much of the industry as possible, so they left to take in stints at 4Creative and Clemmow Hornby Inge, before moving on to Publicis.
They now spend most of their time working on the Cadbury account. Wilcox says: "We have recently been working on the new ad for Flake, which is going to be huge. Hopefully, we'll be able to work our way through the Publicis ranks; we're very happy here and enjoy our work immensely."
GILES MCCORMACK, 29 - Senior account director, Good Technology
McCormack is a former professional photographer who found the lure of brands greater than that of fashion models, and so decided to move into advertising.
After working at Tequila\London on accounts including Vauxhall and Chevrolet, McCormack has continued to channel his passion for cars into a talent for managing the Audi account at Good Technology. He has been at the forefront of the Audi activity, including the recent RS4 campaign, which has attracted six award nominations.
Xanthe Arvanitakis, the managing director at Good Technology, said: "Giles came to us from the direct industry - so he brings a discipline and training that we haven't traditionally had in our agency. He is an inspiration for the clients, as he can truly understand their perspectives."
EMILY PERRETT, 25 - Account director, Hall Moore CHI
With more than six years' experience in Sydney and London, working across direct marketing, sales promotion, design, brand ID and trade marketing, this young Australian is set to soar in adland.
Perrett joined Hall Moore CHI as a freelance in 2004, but soon took up a permanent position as an account manager. She has already spent time in New York for CHI, working on the launch of Best Buy Mobile stores.
Working alongside blue-chip clients such as Kellogg, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline hasn't been an intimidating experience for this 25-year-old.
Warren Moore, a creative partner at Hall Moore CHI, says: "Emily is possibly one of the best account handlers I've ever worked with. She's calm under pressure, frighteningly clever and can instill confidence in clients."
JO LYALL, 27 - Managing partner, MindShare interaction
In an industry suffering from a drought of bright, young digital talent, it's rare to find someone so young who's been at their agency for so long.
Though just 27, Lyall has been at MindShare for eight years, and in 2005 was promoted to managing partner at the WPP agency's digital division, MindShare Interaction. In the process, Lyall became the youngest managing partner in MindShare history.
The MindShare chief executive, Jed Glanvill, says: "She has added a really good understanding of marketing and communications, and her views are respected greatly by her clients. What differentiates her most, however, is that she has always wanted to learn more and develop."
Lyall advises clients including Unilever, News International and HSBC on their digital media strategies.
LUCY HOWARD, 29 - Senior planner, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
If Howard is a planner who comes from a strong strategic heritage - she's previously worked at both Lowe and Fallon - she's got an even bigger future; she's now the sole planner on the Marks & Spencer account.
Howard is quick to point out that she wasn't responsible for writing the Grand Prix-winning IPA Effectiveness paper, but she is just as quick to mention that she did write the paper for Virgin Trains, which picked up a gold. "It was amazing to see the entire team working together to bring the whole campaign to life - I've never seen it work that well before," she says.
Nicknamed Bunty on account of her irrepressible enthusiasm, she is highly regarded by the senior management team at RKCR/Y&R - after all, they wouldn't entrust her with their prize account otherwise.
TIM NOBLE, 23; GEM HAGAN, 24 - Creatives, Claydon Heeley
After graduating from Buckinghamshire University and exhibiting at the Cream Graduate Exhibition, the creative team of copywriter Noble and art director Hagan briefly hopped aboard the placement merry-go-round.
However, they were soon snapped up by Claydon Heeley after impressing on a two-week stint. The creative director, Dave Woods, says the duo are already showing all the hallmarks of classic direct marketing creatives, with their ability to find an unexpected angle on a brief.
The agency also prizes them for their design awareness, copywriting and presentation skills, and sound strategic thinking. "In a couple of years, they'll be a star team," Woods adds. Noble and Hagan, who picked up a gong at last year's Chip Shop Awards, are producing strong MMS video work for 3 and a campaign for Mercedes-Benz.
NERIDA MUDIE, 27 - New-business manager, Grey
Despite only being in the UK for 15 months, the Australian-born Mudie has already been earmarked as a rising star of the Grey London operation.
Mudie started her advertising career as an account handler, but soon moved on to new business. While working at Whybin\TBWA in Melbourne, she restructured its new-business department under the tutelage of the agency's then managing director, Amy Smith, and went on to win numerous pieces of business.
Grey London's deputy chairman, Nicola Mendelsohn, says Mudie's enthusiasm, eagerness to learn and ability to forge long-lasting relationships single her out for stardom.
"Account management was OK, but new business is just so exciting," Mudie says. "I love the hard slog and thrive on the fact that every day is different and that you get to build so many relationships. You don't get stagnant in new business."
JEROME COURTIAL, 28 - Engagement planner, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Courtial has made quite an impact in the seven short months he has been at Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
Trained as a planner in Canada, before stints at direct and digital agencies, Courtial was instrumental in helping the agency win the Lynx/Axe digital account earlier this month.
An original but practical thinker, Courtial works under Kevin Brown in the agency's recently formed engagement planning department. His responsibilities include the global OMO account, Vodafone and Lynx/Axe.
Courtial's cross-media skills couldn't be better honed for the communications challenges that lie ahead for advertising agencies; he was part of the Mini team at glue London that won a silver Cannes Cyber Lion in the Best Viral Category in 2006, and also worked on the 2004 gold Cyber Lion-winning campaign for Pot Noodle. "Jerome has a practical and intuitive sense of the digital landscape," Brown says. "He can shape strategy, ideas and execution."
JENNY HOWARD, 28 - Account director, Vizeum
One of Vizeum's brightest strategic planners, Howard's work on Eurostar, in conjunction with the cinema release of The Da Vinci Code, helped the agency gain critical acclaim and a Campaign Media Awards nomination.
Howard's passion for brands and skill at discovering insight and turning it into a clear and simple strategy also shone through in the agency's work for Coca-Cola.
Matt Andrews, the joint managing director at Vizeum UK, says: "Jenny is one of our brightest thinkers. She has a major aptitude for insight-driven strategy and has delivered excellent work for us this year."
As well as her contribution as one of the Vizeum planning team's strongest thinkers, Howard is also valued for her interpersonal skills.
Her stellar 2006 was capped off with an outstanding performance in Brighton, steering her syndicate to victory at The Media Business Course.
ZOE HOUGH, 26; CLAIRE BAKER, 29 - Creatives, Lean Mean Fighting Machine
After the break-ups of their original creative pairings, Hough and Baker joined forces when they met at a copywriting course in Watford. With placements at Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, Clemmow Hornby Inge, Wieden & Kennedy and Albion under their belts, the duo decided that digital was where their futures lay, and were snapped up by Lean Mean Fighting Machine.
The pair has successfully transferred its talents for above-the-line creativity to the interactive challenges of digital advertising. They have already been shortlisted for a Campaign Digital Award for their Virgin Games work, and received a nomination in the D&AD Annual.
Tom Bazeley, the managing partner at Lean Mean Fighting Machine, said: "They have an above-the-line pedigree which has, in their short time with the agency, been used to great effect within digital advertising. They've produced some very interesting work."
MAREK MOSSAKOWSKI, 25 - Media manager, PHD
PHD seems to have developed a happy knack of unearthing new talent, and Mossakowski is its latest gem, already shining after just four years in the media business.
He made his mark last year, winning a Campaign Media Award for work on Berocca that linked the brand with Sudoku. Mossakowski is currently the media manager on the Bayer and Expedia accounts, having joined the agency as a graduate from Cardiff University to work on the BBC and Prudential business.
His colleagues are certainly impressed. Mark Holden, the executive planning director at PHD, says: "Marek has that unique ability to be able to dig deep into the back of his head and pull out genuinely new ideas. But, unlike a lot of the people that have this raw talent, he also has the clarity of thinking to be able to refine and develop the idea in order to turn it into a commercially viable marketing investment. He's also a really nice guy."
SALLY BOURNE, 29 - Acting ad manager, Marie Claire
Bourne, who has worked at IPC Media since 2001, has built a reputation among agencies as one of the best magazine sales people around. She wins plaudits for understanding her brands and her client's needs, and for being highly professional to deal with.
Her early sales experience was at Granada and the talkSPORT sales operation, Impact. Having moved to IPC to work on Woman & Home, she soon graduated to Marie Claire. Then followed a group role, selling across ten IPC titles, before she returned to Marie Claire, where Bourne has impressed to such a degree, that she has been elevated to the position of acting ad manager.
MediaCom, the UK's largest press buyer, recognised Bourne's talent by handing her its Outstanding Sales Rep of the Year Award 2006. With nine years' experience under her belt, Bourne is now progressing into wider management roles.