TOM LLOYD 24 - Planner, DDB UK
It was only during the final year of his history course at Oxford University that DDB UK's Tom Lloyd decided that he wanted to get into advertising. More specifically, it was his dissertation on the influence of pirate radio that truly convinced him that this was the industry for him. And since making up his mind, Lloyd hasn't looked back. After a year as an account manager at Tag, he moved to DDB in 2009, where he worked on the agency's Flora and IG Index accounts. He has also worked on Volkswagen and played a part in the creation of the "last tango in Compton" campaign.
"Tom has very quietly and unassumingly blown everyone away," Sarah Watson, DDB UK's head of planning, says. "He's exceptionally modest and self-effacing and has an outstanding planning brain."
ALEX HORNER 26 - Digital strategist, Lida
"I'm probably more enthusiastic about new technology than I should be," Alex Horner admits. But considering he works as a digital strategist at Lida, this has to be a good thing. After studying marketing at Lancaster University, the 26-year-old joined EHS 4D in September 2005 and spent five years at the agency working on accounts including Peugeot, where he helped launch one of its first social media campaigns. Lida snapped him up in August last year, and his digital nous has already been put to use on campaigns for DHL and The Carphone Warehouse.
Richard Edwards, Lida's digital planning director, says: "With Alex, it's not just the latest tech trends regurgitated, there's always an intellectual rigour to what he does, and a thoughtful connection to the audience's behaviour."
ANNA KALIMBET 29 and SUMMER CUI 25 - Creatives, Dare
Not only are all-female creative teams scarce in the industry, this Dare duo are even more exceptional because English is their second language. Anna Kalimbet from Ukraine and Summer Cui from China joined the Dare School after graduating in 2008, from Buckingham University, where they met and joined forces.
Last year, the pair were behind the hugely successful Sony Ericsson "Product Testing Institute" campaign, which was Campaign's YouTube Ad of the Year, and also part of the pitch team that won Johnson & Johnson.
Brian Cooper, the Dare creative director, says: "We're always looking for people with different backgrounds who have a different point of view. Anna and Summer come at every problem with their own unique slant, but which is always relevant. This is a rare quality."
LAUREN WING 25 - Group Head, Top Gear Magazine
A shrewd, dynamic whirlwind, Lauren Wing has been promoted four times since starting at BBC Magazines almost five years ago. As the youngest group head at the BBC, she manages a team of three display reps, and one classified rep, across multiple revenue streams of a nine-figure budget. Last year, Wing was responsible for 57 per cent of business booked at Top Gear. She is a persuasive negotiator and convinced Stella Artois to advertise despite the client's concerns with associating alcohol with a car title.
Amanda Pitt-Cook, the ad director at BBC Magazines, says: "Lauren epitomises what every modern salesperson should be." Wing says she takes on as much work from her boss as possible to ease the workload. Her boss had better watch out.
TOTO ELLIS 29 - Strategy Director, TBWA\London
With a 100 per cent pitch conversion rate, it's clear to see why Toto Ellis rose up the TBWA ranks quickly after joining the agency's Manchester division. He moved to TBWA\London four years ago and now reports to the chief strategy officer, Zaid Al-Zaidy. It has been Ellis' gusto and passion that has helped land the agency clients including EA Games, BP Retail, GHD and Muller. He is now the global (outside the US and Canada) planning lead on PlayStation and UK lead planner for Nissan.
Al-Zaidy comments: "Toto is armed with an unusually varied set of planning skills covering point-of-sale, data/customer relationship marketing and big style brand planning. He was an integral part of this year's Muller pitch-winning team and has bags of energy and is very collaborative. Creatives and clients love him.
JAMES STAFFORD 26 - Key Account Director, ITV commercial and online
ITV is eager to expand its revenue sources beyond spot ads and James Stafford's work developing the iTunes festival on ITV2 and branded content for Sainsbury's is just the kind of thing the chief executive, Adam Crozier, and media agencies are after.
Since joining ITV from Reed Business Information three years ago, Stafford has risen through the ranks from online sales executive to key account director. He works across the ITV portfolio and is responsible for many important client and media agency relationships.
Mark Trinder, the ITV commercial director, says: "Stafford has been instrumental in creating a number of innovative commercial initiatives for clients such as Apple, L'Oreal and Warner Bros."
PAISLEY WRIGHT 30 - Team Director Bartle Bogle Hegarty
As team manager, Paisley Wright's role is, she explains, "to make things happen". That's also true of her attitude to her career. She started at BBH on work experience ten years ago at the age of 20. After six weeks, she became an internal runner and was made a team assistant six months later. Soon, she was the team manager, running her own team and looking after accounts such as Woolworths and The Mail on Sunday. She also worked on the Levi's account for four years, on campaigns such as "Originals never fit" and "secrets and lies". And she was part of the team that won the £15 million Matalan business last year.
The BBH co-founder Nigel Bogle is a fan, saying: "Paisley is special because she is great around work, great at relationships and great at getting the job done. Not often you get someone great at all three."
ASEN TSVYATKOV 29 - Planner, Fallon
It's fair to say that Asen Tsvyatkov has been given a baptism of fire at Fallon. The Bulgarian only joined in January but has immediately been put on the Cadbury business, where he is working on the "Spots v Stripes" campaign.
Having come to the UK in 2007 to study at the London Business School, Tsvyatkov admits that he didn't really know what a planner did, but was interested in helping solve business problems. This curiosity saw him join Erasmus to work on the launch of Coca-Cola's Relentless energy drink, before moving on to Figtree to work on the global repositioning of Amnesty International. Fallon then came calling and Tsvyatkov has already made a big impression. "Asen is a ball of creative energy," Rachel Barrie, the agency's director of strategy, says.
GEORGE MAYNARD 29 - Head of DataScience team, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Nicknamed "Super George", Maynard started out at Manning Gottlieb OMD as the first graduate data analyst in the agency's digital team more than six years ago. Now he is the head of the DataScience team.
At the agency, he has had new-business successes including Virgin Money, COI Artemis, Bathstore and John Lewis. Maynard is also credited with developing the agency's Digital Pathway re-attribution offering, which is now used by more than 15 clients globally and is said to achieve average client savings of 35 per cent by optimising their digital spend.
Paul Knight, the executive director, head of retail, says: "No matter what level you are, be it grad or director, time working with him is a constant lesson in what the industry will be like in five years."
LYNDON MORANT 27 - Director, Invention, Mindshare (worldwide)
After more than four years at Mindshare's London offices, Lyndon Morant has just relocated to Shanghai to take a leading role on the Nike account, proving that one of the agency's biggest and most demanding clients believes he is one to watch. Colleagues credit him with a natural inquisitiveness combined with a literacy in digital media, its trends and consumer behaviour. This was most recently demonstrated with LG's partnership with YouTube on the Life In A Day film project. Sean Jefferson, the leader, Invention Worldwide, says: "He is not just fascinated by digital content and marketing, he's become an expert. That, together with his thirst for innovation and learning, explains why the move to Shanghai is so positive for the agency, the client and Lyndon."
MAX WEILAND 22 - Creative, 18 Feet & Rising
Max Weiland is the next generation of advertising creatives with a direct link to the old guard, via his father Paul, the director. He was fresh out of university and on work experience at Fallon when Matt Keon spotted his potential and asked him to join his start-up agency, 18 Feet & Rising. Starting out at a start-up speeds up the learning process and Weiland has worked on almost every pitch the agency has been on since it was founded. He's also worked on Freeview and LoveFilm campaigns. He can be both art director and copywriter and this has influenced the agency's hiring strategy as it eschews signing creative teams, opting for creative individuals instead.
The 18 Feet & Rising co-founder Jonathan Trimble says: "He's the unstoppable, raw young creative that's crucial to new agencies."
CHARLOTTE BRISTOW 27 - Media Group Manager, PHD
Charlotte Bristow has risen rapidly up the ranks having joined PHD as a graduate in 2007. Praised for being "unflappable" by colleagues, she has built strong client relationships and working with some of the agency's biggest advertisers has no doubt helped her ascent. Her current client responsibilities are Sainsbury's and Gap.
A passion for the industry means that she pushes for involvement in wider initiatives and she is currently PHD's outdoor co-ordinator. "Charlotte has the perfect blend of planning talent and consummate account handling skills. Her unflappable nature, excellent level of delivery and passion for her clients' business are what make her so exceptional for her age and position," Bristow's manager, Verica Djurdevic, says.
CATHERINE LEES 29 - Senior Project Manager, Sky 3D, BSkyB
Executives at Sky were so impressed by Catherine Lees when she worked on its Anytime+ video-on-demand proposition as a grad at Accenture, they poached her to launch the Sky 3D channel in-house as a senior project manager.
Hilary Perchard, Sky's director of product management, says: "Her greatest strength is her ability to mobilise a vast cross-section of the organisation to support her vision."
After impressing the PR team and her superiors when appearing on TV at short notice, Lees is now also an external spokeswoman for Sky.
To market Sky 3D, Lees combined demonstration with above-the-line media and successfully lobbied the executive board for an extra budget to use 3D within Sky's brand communications. To date, Sky 3D subscribers have exceeded internal targets and Sky says awareness of Sky 3D is higher than Sky HD when it launched.
OMAR KARIM 30 - Junior Creative, Fallon
Omar Karim is nothing if not prolific. He ran a pirate radio station from a tower block in Leeds, an art gallery, music events and was operating as a freelance graphic designer before he joined Fallon in 2008. He considers himself a creative technologist and engages in lateral thinking for some of the agency's biggest accounts. He's worked on the BBC Blast campaign, Cadbury and created an "advertising machine" called Alan for the agency's former client More Th>n.
In his spare time, he runs his own creative culture magazine called Bones (bonesmagazine.co.uk). He also recently directed his first music video, for Wiley & MJ Cole.
Magnus Djaba, the Fallon managing director, considers Karim to be "the new breed of emerging creative talent, born from the marriage of advertising, art and technology".
The creative directors Chris Bovill and John Allison describe him as a "thoroughly modern creative".
OLLIE WOLF 27 and DAVID GOSS 28 - Creative Team, Saatchi & Saatchi
Ollie Wolf and David Goss received an education in craft skills at Dye Holloway Murray before joining Saatchi & Saatchi, where they have risen to the challenge of coming up with brand ideas.
For their first brief, a global campaign for Lurpak, they devised the winning idea and produced TV, print and online film executions for the brand. Their campaign is being extended online in the form of a competition to find the most passionate food blogger, who could win the chance to travel the world for a year writing a food blog for Lurpak.
The team also created Toyota's latest TV ad and they are currently shooting films for Visa to tie in with the credit-card company's sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics.
Paul Silburn, the creative partner at Saatchi & Saatchi, says: "Account teams are always asking to work with them. In 12 months, they've done two or three years' work. They have a maturity beyond their years."
MARTIN HUGHES 28 - Key Account Sales Manager, Future's music portfolio
martin Hughes joined Future as a senior sales executive in 2006 and is now a key account manager across its six music titles and industry website MusicRadar.com.
He has recorded hugely impressive sales growth in a challenging sector, consistently finding ways to generate new revenue and improve relationships with clients.
Matt King, the senior ad manager for the music-making portfolio, says: "It comes as no surprise that Martin has increased revenue across his client base by 17 per cent utilising print and online channels."
In November, Hughes was named Account Manager of the Year at the National Sales Awards, beating account managers from companies such as GE Capital, Pareto Law and Royal Mail.
Clients view him "as trustworthy, insightful and integral to their success", the sales director, Clare Dove, adds.
WILL LION 25 - Junior Planner, Dare
Lion might be fierce in name but he's mild-mannered in nature. The unassuming planner fought off hundreds of candidates to win a place on Dare's graduate scheme and rapidly progressed from account handling to planning.
Although he has only worked in the industry for two-and-a-half years, Lion has already presented more times to the board over the past couple of months than the agency's non-executive chairman John Bartle.
Lion was crucial to Dare's B&Q win, has spearheaded the transformation of Dare's grad recruitment scheme and has introduced an extremely successful Dare Feed.
Nick Emmel, the planning director at Dare, says: "Will has a terrifying appetite for learning, which means he will take on any task, however daunting.
"Give him a year or so, and he'll be proactively doing my job for me. And I'm convinced he'll probably do it better."
TOM SAUNTER 26 - Digital Strategy Manager, MediaCom
A scion of one of the leading lights in applied augmented reality (his father runs an augmented reality technology company called Optricks Media), Tom Saunter has grown up on the cutting edge of new media. During his three years at MediaCom, he is credited with applying a logical application of new technologies or insights to age-old marcoms issues. And if he doesn't know someone or something that will take consumers on the right journey for clients, he invents it. For example, he has devised a time-tracking tag that follows content wherever it goes and reports back how consumers have interacted with it. Stefan Bardega, the digital managing partner at MediaCom, says that there are a number of things that make him stand out from the crowd: "He has an amazing ability to take complex technology ideas and convey them understandably to clients and internally."