DIARY: Judging who's top dog with WKS's pay figures

Adland on its uppers? Don't you believe it. The latest figures revealing the annual pay cheques of the industry's fattest cats suggest they won't be forced to flog the Ferraris quite yet.

So welcome to one of the industry's favourite games - putting names to the highest-paid agency directors who figure anonymously in the Willott Kingston Smith report on the financial state of marketing services companies.

At the top of the pile is TBWA\London, whose biggest banana is revealed to have trousered £1.24 million in 2001, representing a massive 154 per cent increase over the previous year.

And the lucky recipient? The smart money is on either Paul Bainsfair, the president for northern Europe, or advertising's favourite Brummie, Trevor Beattie. Should compensate for the loss of his goldfish.

In the runner-up spot comes Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper. One suspects that it was either Mark Wnek or Brett Gosper, soon to depart for McCann-Erickson New York, who had to make do with a more modest £959,000.

At the third-ranking WCRS, it seems safe to assume that the chairman, Robin Wight, takes a lottery-winning-style reward of £797,000. That's a 90 per cent pay rise.

Running him close is, sadly, not the owner of the most discussed salary in the business. Grey Advertising's highest earner apparently pocketed £785,000 a year in the year to September 2002. But it can't be Garry Lace, who only joined a year ago. Could it have been Tim Mellors?

But it's not all pay rises. The biggest fall in annual pay in the UK's top 15 went to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's highest-paid director, who took a whopping 53 per cent pay cut to £371,000.

At the top of the media list is, one assumes, Aegis' Doug Flynn on £1,149,000, followed by MediaCom's Steve Allan, who appears to be worth £900,000 a year. MPG's Bob Offen isn't doing badly either. A yearly income of £838,000 should soften the blow of losing that UK Orange account.

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