9 Cat Wiles
Head of planning, VCCP
Wiles’ star is in the ascendant – a planner who dives into the worlds of semiotics, psychology, anthropology and popular culture to produce award-winning work for clients. She also invests in her people, running popular bi-weekly lunches for VCCP’s planners at which she shares her expertise.
8 Katie Mackay-Sinclair and Chris Gallery
Mother has long been known for its creative and strategic brilliance for which Mackay-Sinclair and Gallery can take much credit. Helping the agency succeed in the global TripAdvisor pitch is evidence of their strategic prowess.
7 Richard Huntington
Chairman and chief strategy officer, Saatchi & Saatchi London
Yet again Huntington makes the list for his reputation as one of the sharpest brains in adland. His strategic thinking has helped the agency encourage brands to rethink their businesses. He also remains a regular and popular Campaign columnist.
6 Jo Arden
Chief strategy officer, MullenLowe London
Serial pitcher Arden combines strategic brilliance with a flair for converting new business – a powerful mix in a planner. A joint winner of Campaign’s Strategic Planner of the Year, she continues to produce sterling work.
5 Martin Beverley
Chief strategy officer, Adam & Eve/DDB
When David Golding left Adam & Eve/DDB in May, it was time for other talent to shine through. Beverley stepped up and has impressed by bringing in new business, such as Lucozade, and working on the latest PlayStation ads, showing an innate knowledge of this target audience.
4 Lucy Jameson
Founding partner, Uncommon Creative Studio
As one of the hottest new(ish) agencies in the industry, this has been the year that Uncommon found its groove. Jameson has been key to the thinking behind the agency’s bold work for ITV, such as the silent ad takeover in Britain’s Got Talent to get people talking about mental health.
3 Craig Mawdsley and Bridget Angear
Joint chief strategy officers, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
"Viva la vulva" for Bodyform was one of the most awarded UK campaigns at Cannes this year and helped the shop pick up Agency of the Year at the Campaign Big Awards. Angear and Mawdsley have shown why the importance of strong strategic thinking is vital for brands tapping into culture.
2 Andy Nairn
Founding partner, Lucky Generals
Nairn’s sharp mind but understated nature has been key to Lucky Generals’ success over the years. The agency’s work on the Co-Op, which brought together its food, insurance and funeral-care businesses for the first time, highlights the top strategic talent in the agency.
1 Dylan Williams
Chief strategy officer, Droga5 London
It’s been a big year for Droga5 London, having won Campaign’s Independent Agency of the Year and then been acquired by Accenture Interactive. Testament to Williams’ standing in the agency, he has been tasked with probing how ad agencies can grow with consultancies, in his dual role as Droga5 CSO and Accenture managing director.