Feature

The A List 2008: Part 8 of 9 - S-V

S

SALAMA, ERIC

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Kantar Group, 4 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HF.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7656 5702.

Born: London.

Career highlights: The Labour Party, Henley Centre, WPP, Kantar Group.

Why are you good at what you do?: O-level in history, or because I'm not hierarchical, and I always try to treat people the way that I'd like to be treated.

Greatest influence: A desire to make a positive impact and to continually stretch myself.

Fantasy business partner: James Dyson.

Biggest risk taken: Arguing with a man holding a gun who had locked us in a bar in Bolivia and who wanted my passport and money.

Best job outside advertising: Four months spent as an apiarist (beekeeper) on a kibbutz in Israel.

Favourite media: The Sun, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Life on Mars, Spooks Grey's Anatomy and, as of last night, Outnumbered, Radio 4, newsnow.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry.

Clubs: A trustee of the British Museum, a trustee of Horsesmouth, George, Arsenal.

Most-admired politician: Gordon Brown, for taking politics seriously, for thinking about, and believing in, what he says, and for being open to constructive criticism.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I don't, but I am trying hard to reduce it in the first place.

Perfect day: Wake up somewhere warm by the sea, read the papers, have breakfast with my sons while chatting and playing cards, recruit someone great after months of effort, win a big pitch for a piece of business we had screwed up and turned around, barbecue on the beach with extended family and friends, then a swim in the sea, game of five-a-side football and a game of tennis, and then go and watch Arsenal beat Chelsea in the Champions League final.

Fictional hero: Road Runner.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Tazmanian Devil.

Hidden talent: None... lots hidden, but none of it talent.

Most expensive purchase: Painting.

Desert island objects: DVD of Arsenal's unbeaten year, and of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry's best goals, a wind-up shortwave digital radio, the complete works of Primo Levi.

Lowdown: With so much on his plate running WPP's research interests, you wonder if the mercurial Salama has any time to watch his beloved Arsenal. He's been mooted as a possible successor to his boss, Sir Martin Sorrell. But with the WPP leader showing as much willingness to retire as Arsene Wenger, don't hold your breath.

SALLER, SYL

Job: Global innovation director.

Company: Diageo, Lakeside Drive, Park Royal, London NW10 7HQ.

Work tel: I don't have a phone at work - my PA does.

Born: Indianapolis, Indiana.

Career highlights: Started in university administration, then did a Harvard MBA; seven years at Gillette; general manager with Holson Burnes; Allied Domecq Retail; Diageo for the past eight years.

Why are you good at what you do?: Leadership... of people who are better than me.

Greatest influence: My values.

Fantasy business partner: Andy Fennell (luckily for me, its not a fantasy).

Biggest risk taken: Finding out six weeks after moving from Boston to London that I was losing my job in the sale of Allied to Punch, and having the move to a new industry, new country and new culture turn out fantastically.

Best job outside advertising: The one I'm doing now.

Favourite media: The West Wing, Vanity Fair.

Favourite gadget: Don't do gadgets.

Clubs: Wacl, MGGB.

Most-admired politician: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Now that's leadership!

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: One of my closest friends runs the World Wildlife Fund.

Perfect day: Any day with my husband and children.

Fictional hero: The Ya Ya Sisterhood.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Tom Hanks in drag.

Hidden talent: Pottery.

Most expensive purchase: A bathroom vanity that my daughter refers to as "the car she never got".

Desert island objects: Rog, Jake and Alexa.

Lowdown: A juggling working mother who is irked by the lack of senior role models for women. Works hard at retaining her American accent: "Please run me down in the parking lot if I start saying 'bloody hell'." Her favourite tipple? Gordon's and tonic.

SANDERSON, MADELEINE

Job: Managing director.

Company: Partizan, 40/47 Lexington Street, London W1T 0LN.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7851 0200.

Born: 1964.

Career highlights: In 1991, when we booked our first job at Fletcher Sanderson Films, and while at Partizan, there have been many. Also, the Traktor party at Cannes 2004 was pretty special.

Why are you good at what you do?: I enjoy it.

Greatest influence: My mother.

Fantasy business partner: Chris Evans.

Biggest risk taken: I don't take risks. In business, everything is considered, and personally, I have to go with how I feel.

Best job outside advertising: Running a flower stall.

Favourite media: Something makes me chuckle every time I log on to Facebook.

Favourite gadget: Mobile phone.

Clubs: Soho House and Club Penguin.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela, because he is genuine.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Not as much as I should.

Perfect day: A morning ride in the countryside, a picnic lunch with close friends and family (not prepared by me), and then an early night with someone I adore.

Fictional hero: Mr Rochester.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Patsy Palmer.

Hidden talent: I make wicked roast potatoes.

Most expensive purchase: A painting.

Desert island objects: Hammock, cotton sheet and a piano.

Lowdown: A born saleswoman, Sanderson has an uncanny knack for clinching the deal, all done with a sweet smile and hair-flick flourish. Very smart, and with a fantastic sense of humour, Sanderson is great fun over a long lunch.

SANDS, MARC

Job: Marketing director.

Company: Guardian News and Media, 119 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3ER.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7278 2332.

Born: 1963.

Career highlights: Various advertising agencies in New York and London, of which the highlight was HHCL at its best in the early 90s. That was followed by time in the media sector at LWT, Granada, and ONdigital, and for the past seven years, The Guardian.

Why are you good at what you do?: I back down when I am wrong and I never let go when I'm right.

Greatest influence: Nigel Yates (school teacher).

Fantasy business partner: Warren Buffett.

Biggest risk taken: Marrying someone I barely knew. Twelve years and two boys later, the risk paid off.

Best job outside advertising: Tour guide for Global Holidays. Taking coachloads of UK and US tourists around Europe armed only with the Michelin Green Guide and the ability to make it all up as I went along. Only one holidaymaker called me to account.

Favourite media: The Guardian, The Observer, The New Yorker, Radio 4, Channel 4 News, Arseblog.

Favourite gadget: iPod (just a little annoying that I have to buy a new one every year).

Clubs: Arsenal.

Most-admired politician: Ken Livingstone. Backs down when he is wrong and never lets go when he is right.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I cycle everywhere.

Perfect day: Wake up, go skiing with the children, lunch at Sheekeys with Lyndsay, watch Arsenal thrash "Manure" or the "Chavscum" at the Emirates Stadium, go for a run with the dog on Hampstead Heath, put feet up with a copy of The Guardian, head off for a jam with Thom Yorke at The Forum...

Fictional hero: Frank Bascombe.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: A combination of Woody Harrelson and Groucho Marx.

Hidden talent: Absorbing vital information while appearing not to listen.

Most expensive purchase: Arsenal season ticket.

Desert island objects: Guitar with an inbuilt tuner. Picture of Lyndsay, Aldo and Emil. BlackBerry.

Lowdown: Passionate about the ideas underpinning his advertising, Sands unveiled a new creative strategy for The Guardian, which was developed by Wieden & Kennedy, and then hired the agency to The Observer account. Sands remains one of the most opinionated and driven clients around.

SATTETHWAITE, CHRISTOPHER

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Chime Commu-nications, 14 Curzon Street, London W1J 5HN.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7861 8589.

Born: 21 May 1956.

Career highlights: Heinz, IMP, HHCL, Bell Pottinger, Chime Communications.

Why are you good at what you do?: Imaginative listener.

Greatest influence: My wife, Teresa.

Fantasy business partner: Ronaldo.

Biggest risk taken: Joining HHCL.

Best job outside advertising: Gardener for Dame Barbara Ward.

Favourite media: The Times, The Week, Sky, Radio 4, YouTube.

Favourite gadget: Sky+.

Clubs: MCC.

Most-admired politician: Always the leader of the opposition. The minority is generally right.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Via www.carbonfootprint.com.

Perfect day: A river bank, followed by a family barbecue.

Fictional hero: Reginald Iolanthe Perrin.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Mikhail Gorbachev.

Hidden talent: "In a bar in Toledo across from the depot, on a bar stool she took off her ring."

Most expensive purchase: Annual holidays.

Desert island objects: Three large flares.

Lowdown: As well as creating a buzz at Chime Communications, the energetic and dedicated Sattethwaite has one of the oddest out-of-work occupations in the industry. He is an avid student of apiology - the study of bees.

SAVAGE, TIGER

Job: Deputy creative director and head of art.

Company: M&C Saatchi, 34-36 Golden Square, London W1F 7EE.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7544 3605.

Born: Undisclosed.

Career highlights: Getting a job in advertising.

Why are you good at what you do?: I'm a perfectionist.

Greatest influence: Mike McPhillips.

Fantasy business partner: Sir Martin Sorrell.

Biggest risk taken: Saying the above.

Best job outside advertising: Working in an art gallery.

Favourite media: The Sunday Times, Numero, Coronation Street, Heart, YouTube.

Favourite gadget: My Techtronic remote.

Clubs: Any club that will have me.

Most-admired politician: Al Gore and his mission to save the planet.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I plant banana trees and bamboo.

Perfect day: Sitting on George Clooney's boat on Lake Como.

Fictional hero: Undisclosed.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Whoopi Goldberg.

Hidden talent: Too rude to mention.

Most expensive purchase: Paintings.

Desert island objects: My iPod, sun lotion and George Clooney.

Lowdown: Every A List lowdown talks about Savage's impeccable dress sense, so this time we're not going to bother. Instead, we're going to concentrate on her keen creative eye and her masterly art direction of the M&C creative department at the right hand of Graham Fink. She also has good shoes. Damn.

SAYER, BARRY

Job: President UK, Ireland and Africa.

Company: Clear Channel Outdoor, 33 Golden Square, London W1F 9JT.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7478 2308.

Born: Durban, South Africa.

Career highlights: Undisclosed.

Why are you good at what you do?: Undisclosed.

Greatest influence: Undisclosed.

Fantasy business partner: Undisclosed.

Biggest risk taken: Opening my own outdoor company.

Best job outside advertising: Television presenter.

Favourite media: Financial Times.

Favourite gadget: Undisclosed.

Clubs: Killarney Golf Club, SA.

Most-admired politician: Winston Churchill (saved Britain), Margaret Thatcher (saved economic Britain) Nelson Mandela (saved South Africa).

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Own many trees in Africa.

Perfect day: Undisclosed.

Fictional hero: Undisclosed.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Lassie (it's a dog's life).

Hidden talent: Undisclosed.

Most expensive purchase: Undisclosed.

Desert island objects: Undisclosed.

Lowdown: South African Sayer has put considerable effort into charming the UK media market and with some success. Following managerial departures in 2006, Sayer and his team enjoyed a more stable year in 2007 and won advertising support for its new formats.

SCARPELLI, BOB

Job: Chairman, chief creative officer.

Company: DDB Worldwide, 437 Madison Avenue, New York 10022.

Work tel: +1 212 415 2150.

Born: 29 November 1952.

Career highlights: Everyday, being around talented, passionate people creating great ideas.

Why are you good at what you do?: Give people confidence.

Greatest influence: In business, Keith Reinhard. In life, my wife and sons.

Fantasy business partner: Whoever owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Biggest risk taken: Maybe I've been naive, but nothing I've done seemed like a risk at the time.

Best job outside advertising: As a student, I spent a summers working for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, when there was an Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Favourite media: The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Sopranos, WXRT-FM, beatles.com.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry 8800.

Clubs: None, really. I'm on a few boards.

Most-admired politician: Abraham Lincoln. He led the US through its most difficult time with common sense and wisdom.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Well, I am a fanatical recycler. And I've seen An Inconvenient Truth.

Perfect day: At home, in my garden, with my wife... and a visit from my sons. I'm not a good relaxer, but that's a way to relax.

Fictional hero: David Bowie. He's been a constantly changing work of fiction.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Most people would say Albert Brooks. I'd say maybe Greg Kinnear, but I wish it were Brad Pitt.

Hidden talent: I don't have enough talents to hide any.

Most expensive purchase: The Aston Martin doesn't count?

Desert island objects: My iPod. A bottle of Sassicaia 1997. A book (one of many) about the American Civil War.

Lowdown: Known for leading the charge at DDB's infamous Cannes parties, Chicago-born Scarpelli marks 30 years in the DDB network this year. In the new procurement-driven world, Scarpelli believes the passport to business effectiveness is pure unadulterated creativity. And with the trucks full of awards DDB has pulled in under his watch, he might well be on to something.

SCHMIDT-VOGEL, ALEXANDER

Job: Chairman and chief executive.

Company: MediaCom Worldwide, Landwehrstrasse, 60-62, Munich 80336.

Work tel: Undisclosed.

Born: Same day as NATO.

Career highlights: Opening act drama before The Scorpions, MediaCom chief executive a bit later.

Why are you good at what you do?: Last man standing.

Greatest influence: Intuition.

Fantasy business partner: Steve Jobs.

Biggest risk taken: On a certain day, not to have taken one.

Best job outside advertising: Drumming.

Favourite media: Neuer Zuricher Zeitung, Zitti Berlin, Curb Your Enthusiasm, LastFM.

Favourite gadget: Nokia N95.

Clubs: The sames clubs that Groucho Marx was a member of.

Most-admired politician: Undisclosed.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Will stop smoking cigars.

Perfect day: In some fashion, every day is a perfect day.

Fictional hero: Me, in my dreams.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Philip Marlow.

Hidden talent: Design.

Most expensive purchase: A very expensive jacket, which I hated afterward and never wear.

Desert island objects: Me, my family and friends.

Lowdown: Schmidt-Vogel has presided over the recent expansion of the MediaCom network through some good new business wins. It was all about bedding these down in 2007, and Schmidt-Vogel remains a well respected, formidable leader of the WPP business.

SCOGNAMIGLIO, MARCO

Job: UK chief executive.

Company: WWAV Rapp Collins, 1 Riverside, Manbre Road, London W6 9WA.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 8735 8200.

Born: Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Career highlights: Winning a famous brand that we cannot talk about.

Why are you good at what you do?: I have the best talent in this industry working for me.

Greatest influence: My 105-year-old Italian grandmother from Naples.

Fantasy business partner: Cameron Diaz.

Biggest risk taken: Climbing Mont Blanc in Chamonix.

Best job outside advertising: A mountain guide in the US.

Favourite media: The Times, Rugby World, Life on Mars, Radio Five Live, www.wwavrc.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: iPod.

Clubs: RYA, RFU.

Most-admired politician: William Hague. He makes me laugh at awards dinners.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Driving my Mini.

Perfect day: Winning a pitch of scale.

Fictional hero: Roy of the Rovers.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Bruce Willis.

Hidden talent: Instinct.

Most expensive purchase: My trip to the Lions Tour - still paying my wife back!

Desert island objects: My two little boys, and my darling wife, Justine.

Lowdown: The formidable figurehead for WWAV RAPP Collins' London operations has had a turbulent year at the top. His confidence will have been dented by the loss of British Gas and the closure of WWAV Leeds. But no-one could accuse him of being lacklustre in his recruitment approach. He's snared lots of talent for the agency's digital offering.

SCOTT, FIONA

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, 120 Regent Street, London W1B 5RY.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7734 1650.

Born: 15 January 1965.

Career highlights: Working at Limbo, 1991 to 1998. Joining Craik Jones - nine years on and still going strong.

Why are you good at what you do?: I hire great people around me.

Greatest influence: My mum.

Fantasy business partner: Too many to mention.

Biggest risk taken: Resigning two weeks into my first job in direct marketing. The managing director was a renowned mad man who locked me in his office in an effort to get me to reconsider.

Best job outside advertising: Waiting tables at Cafe de Paris in Brighton, while I was at university. I had to dance with the occasional drunk customer, but I did earn a packet.

Favourite media: The Observer, OK! or anything trashy, currently Sons and Daughters, Radio 4, Ocado.

Favourite gadget: Still my iPod.

Clubs: Home House, Third Space.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela (for obvious reasons).

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: It would be impossible to make a real dent in it since I'm always in my car, but every bit helps. I recycle everything and even have a wormery and a composter in action.

Perfect day: On the beach at our seaside house with family, friends and some sun.

Fictional hero: Eustacia Vye (The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy).

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Whoever needs the money that badly.

Hidden talent: Cooking.

Most expensive purchase: The home entertainment sytem I'm currently buying... how much?!

Desert island objects: Water, a compass and a robust boat.

Lowdown: Freshly returned from maternity leave, this proud mother has scaled down her time at the agency to make room for her parental commitments. However, she still has an integral role in looking after the agency's Unilever and Diaggio accounts.

SCOTT, PETER

Job: Chief executive.

Company: The Engine Group, 5 Golden Square, London W1F 9BS.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7236 5035.

Born: 28 March 1947.

Career highlights: Co-founder of WCRS in 1979. Led WCRS MBO, 2003 to 2004.

Why are you good at what you do?: Bloody minded determination.

Greatest influence: Fear of failure.

Fantasy business partner: Jimmy Goldsmith.

Biggest risk taken: Polo.

Best job outside advertising: Chairman, Descent International.

Favourite media: The Week, Classic FM, snow reports three valleys.

Favourite gadget: Watch.

Clubs: Usual suspects in London.

Most-admired politician: Margaret Thatcher. A democratic revolutionary.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: 200 acres of organic land in hand.

Perfect day: Skiing.

Fictional hero: Asterix.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: James Dean.

Hidden talent: Sadly, everything's on show.

Most expensive purchase: Mountain chalet.

Desert island objects: Outboard motor, Nespresso, knife.

Lowdown: There were concerns that his return to the industry may have put backs up at Engine after the departure of Stephen Woodford, but with a couple more new acquisitions and a harmonious feel emanating from Golden Square, it looks like these worries were for nought.

SENIOR, ROBERT

Job: Chief executive.

Company: SSF UK Group, Fallon London, 67-69 Beak Street, London W1F 9SW and Saatchi & Saatchi, 80 Charlotte Street, London W1A 1AQ.

Work tel: Fallon London: +44 (0)20 7494 9120; Saatchi & Saatchi: +44 (0) 020 7636 5060.

Born: Middlesbrough.

Career highlights: Setting up Fallon in London with Laurence Green, Michael Wall, Richard Flintham and Andy McLeod.

Why are you good at what you do?: In a sentence, I'm not sure.

Greatest influence: The weather.

Fantasy business partner: Laurence Green.

Biggest risk taken: Avoiding risk.

Best job outside advertising: Ski instructor.

Favourite media: The Guardian, The Week, Life on Mars, Radio Five Live, www.bbc.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: Pen.

Clubs: Soho House and Brockett Hall Golf Club.

Most-admired politician: Bill Clinton, tallest dwarf.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Walking, cycling.

Perfect day: 8.00am Coffee and croissant in Bar de Sport. 8.45am Ski touring. 2.30pm Lunch at Le Grande Ourse. 6.00pm A quick ride on the mountain bike. 7.30pm Drinks and dinner with friends in Le Monal.

Fictional hero: Ethan Hunt.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: David Caruso.

Hidden talent: Patience.

Most expensive purchase: Merlin Road Bike.

Desert island objects: Swimming trunks, goggles and a spear.

Lowdown: With ambition and talent in equal measures, Senior was always destined for a larger role than the Fallon chief. The big questions hanging over his new position of chief executive of the combined Fallon and Saatchi & Saatchi operation are how he'll make the merger work, and whether or not he can find enough time and energy to devote to both.

SHARROCKS, NIGEL

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Aegis Media UK & Ireland Group, 43-49 Parker Street, London WC2B 5PS.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7430 6001.

Born: 21 August 1956.

Career highlights: Managing director, Grey; chairman, MediaCom; managing director, Warner Brothers Pictures.

Why are you good at what you do?: Help others perform brilliantly.

Greatest influence: Been fortunate to have loads of mentors, but probably my northern upbringing.

Fantasy business partner: Bono.

Biggest risk taken: Promoting a Clash concert after their fans had just smashed up The Rainbow.

Best job outside advertising: Does managing director of Warner Brothers Pictures count?

Favourite media: The Guardian, Empire, Later with Jools Holland, Radio Five Live, Google.

Favourite gadget: iPod.

Clubs: Nothing at the moment.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela. Too many reasons to highlight.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Walk or catch the Eurostar.

Perfect day: It's Sunday, the sun's shining, and we're out with the children.

Fictional hero: Dean Moriarty.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Hopefully not Shrek.

Hidden talent: Juggling.

Most expensive purchase: Holidays.

Desert island objects: At last, a reason not to feel guilty about my BlackBerry.

Lowdown: Sharrocks is busy trying to build Aegis' reputation as a value-led, digital media-savvy business while not neglecting the Carat reputation for hard-nosed media buying. A tough balancing act.

SHAW, JOHN

Job: Planning director, UK and EMEA.

Company: Ogilvy Group, 10 Cabot Sqaure, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QE.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7345 3312.

Born: 20 November 1959.

Career highlights: Learning from the planning Jedi at JWT; launching planning in the wild, early years of EHS; overcoming adversity at Young & Rubicam; being in the room at Wieden & Kennedy; savouring Asia and then returning home with Ogilvy.

Why are you good at what you do?: Hard to answer without sounding arsey, but I try to remember that planning is only a means to an end.

Greatest influence: That's one for my shrink.

Fantasy business partner: Arsene Wenger.

Biggest risk taken: A career in advertising is a choice of risk over boredom.

Best job outside advertising: Overseeing the Pedigree Chum Diarrhoea Panel.

Favourite media: The Northern Times and Weekly Journal for Sutherland and the North, Vanity Fair, Jakers!, Radio Five Live, The Fiver.

Favourite gadget: Corkscrew.

Clubs: The Jack Daniels Fantasy Premiership is both virtual and all too real, as my wife will attest.

Most-admired politician: My dad, for standing as a Liberal in Paisley three times; my uncle for being respected across the Scottish political spectrum.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I'm an avid recycler, but financially, I'm a bundle of good intentions.

Perfect day: Involves deep powder, Cite Ritie, rowdy family bathtime, and The Dandy Warhols.

Fictional hero: Jim Dixon in Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: On hair grounds only, the guy who played Kramer in Seinfeld.

Hidden talent: Speed.

Most expensive purchase: Probably photography. Possibly nappies.

Desert island objects: The instruments of Empire: Union Jack, pith helmet, bagpipes.

Lowdown: The globe-trotting Shaw, who has worked in the US and Asia, decided that 2006 would be the best time to settle back in England. Now a year into the London office, he has quietly asserted himself on the mammoth agency.

SHEARER, PAUL

Job: Founding partner.

Company: Nitro, 25 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9ES.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7759 5999.

Born: Glasgow.

Career highlights: Any I have produced is a highlight.

Why are you good at what you do?: I am pragmatic. My glass is always three-quarters full.

Greatest influence: People such as Sir John Hegarty, Dan Wieden and Laura Gregory.

Fantasy business partner: Simon Cowell.

Biggest risk taken: Moving to Amsterdam.

Best job outside advertising: Silver-service waiter in Torquay.

Favourite media: The Sun, FourFourTwo, Cheers, nikefootball.com.

Favourite gadget: PSP.

Clubs: Arts Club.

Most-admired politician: Maggie Thatcher. She had balls.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Drive a Volvo and always coast down hills.

Perfect day: A day with my children and Celtic beating Rangers ten nil.

Fictional hero: Superman.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Wayne Rooney.

Hidden talent: I can wiggle my ears.

Most expensive purchase: Rolex Submariner.

Desert island objects: Kate Moss, factor 50 and three wishes.

Lowdown: The direct and down-to-earth Glaswegian has spent the year trying to improve Nitro's creative output and reputation. The Volvo win was a major triumph, but Shearer now needs the support of a strong, clear management strategy if he's to really make something of Nitro.

SHEPHERD-SMITH, MATT

Job: Chief executive.

Company: TBWA/London, 76-80 Whitfield Street, London W1T 4EZ.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7573 6592.

Born: September 1967.

Career highlights: Chief executive, TBWA/London; chairman, Stream.

Why are you good at what you do?: I guess I sound convincing.

Greatest influence: Music.

Fantasy business partner: Hugh Hefner.

Biggest risk taken: Inviting Johnny Hornby round for dinner.

Best job outside advertising: Lifeguard. No, really.

Favourite media: The Times, Q, Transworld Sport; Radio Five Live; mrandmrssmith.com.

Favourite gadget: iPod.

Clubs: Wentworth, Century, Armitage, Facebook.

Most-admired politician: Al Gore. Lost, but got a better job.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I have a recycling wife.

Perfect day: Goofing around with Harry and Jake.

Fictional hero: Bart Simpson.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Whoopi Goldberg.

Hidden talent: It's to do with having a plastic thumb.

Most expensive purchase: A sit-on mower.

Desert island objects: Susie, Harry, Jake.

Lowdown: The Chelsea fan marked his 40th birthday this year, showing that he was universally popular when adland's brightest bananas rocked up to Soho House to celebrate. Wrestling E.on from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R at the start of the year was a coup. Since then, Shepherd-Smith has steered TBWA/London through a variable year.

SHERWOOD, SIMON

Job: Worldwide chief operating officer.

Company: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, 60 Kingly Street, London W1B 5DS.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7453 4159.

Born: 1956.

Career highlights: Hired by BBH right at the beginning, 1982. Made managing director in 1989. Started BBH Asia as chief executive in 1996. Managed the launch of BBH in the US in 1998, Japan in 2000), Brazil in 2002 and China in 2006. Five Campaign Agency of the Year awards. Advertising Age Global Agency of the Year in 2005.

Why are you good at what you do?: I know how to finish things as well as start them.

Greatest influence: In business, John Bartle. In life, my wife.

Fantasy business partner: Bill Gates.

Biggest risk taken: Moving my family to Asia in 1996.

Best job outside advertising: Putting up marquees every summer for five years.

Favourite media: The Independent, Yachting Monthly, Sky Sports, The Today Programme, Berry Brothers & Rudd.

Favourite gadget: Laptop.

Clubs: The Groucho Club, Milford Golf Club.

Most-admired politician: Don't really admire politicians.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Constantly turn the central heating down.

Perfect day: Sunday.

Fictional hero: Undisclosed.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Undisclosed.

Hidden talent: Cooking.

Most expensive purchase: Wine cellar.

Desert island objects: Bottle, corkscrew, glass.

Lowdown: Following the return of Gwyn Jones from the New York office, there was a lot of speculation about the shrewd and affable Sherwood's role. But if his speech at BBH's all-staff gathering in Miami is anything to go by, he'll be here for a long time yet.

SINNOCK, MARK

Job: Chief strategy officer.

Company: Fallon London, 67-69 Beak Street, London W1F 9SW.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7534 9480.

Born: 1972.

Career highlights: My firstjob on Ford at Ogilvy. Dabbling with interactive TV and wireless as a client at ntl:interactive and O2. PlayStation at TBWA with McTear and "Mountain", Fraser and Al and "fun anyone?"... joining Fallon, everything we do on Sony, winning More Than, Orange, ASDA, Eurostar.Helping Fallon win Agency of the Year... becoming chief strategy officer.

Why are you good at what you do?: Strategy is about people and business.

Greatest influence: On finishing university, I found myself doing the washing up in the kitchen of a cross-channel ferry at 3am on Boxing Day in 1994.

Fantasy business partner: The love-child of Richard Flintham and Juan Cabral.

Biggest risk taken: Trying to throw David Patton, my then senior PlayStation client, into a canal in Manchester....

Best job outside advertising: As a teenager, I drove tractors around a fruit farm in Kent every summer.

Favourite media: The Times, The Week, Performance VW, Heroes, Capital Gold, Radio Five Live, bbc.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: A toss-up between my digital radio and my Sony Vaio.

Clubs: None, unless hotmail and eBay count as clubs.

Most-admired politician: Robert Senior. Marvel at how he manages the meeting.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: My garden is my excuse, but now you're asking, I'll take this as a kick up the arse to do something about it.

Perfect day: Any bright Saturday in summer with my family.

Fictional hero: Yossarian from Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: I don't deserve a film... maybe one of those three-minute things on Channel 4 after the news.

Hidden talent: If I put my mind to it, I could probably swim the channel.

Most expensive purchase: My wife's engagement ring.

Desert island objects: A pack of cigars, a lighter, and a hot air balloon.

Lowdown: As part of the Fallon new guard, the challenge is on to live up to a high level of expectation from both the industry and clients. Sinnock has talent in spades - he's been instrumental in the agency's award-winning Bravia work for Sony - and there are few in the business who doubt that he can replicate that success across other accounts at the agency.

SMITH, ADAM

Job: Futures director.

Company: Group M, 124 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8RX.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7969 4038.

Born: 1961.

Career highlights: More of a continuous grinding noise than a greatest hits.

Why are you good at what you do?: By seeking and espousing fascination in what we do.

Greatest influence: A succession of generous mentors, more enlightened than self-interested.

Fantasy business partner: Derrick Southon. He sees all which matters.

Biggest risk taken: Marriage.

Best job outside advertising: Forecourt attendant at a busy franchise - a real-life soap opera.

Favourite media: The Telegraph, Private Eye, Coronation Street, Radio 4, eBay. A cluster which shouts: "ancient bore."

Favourite gadget: The lump hammer. When you need it, you need it.

Clubs: Opel GT Owners Club (see "lump hammer"). I generally avoid clubs, as I do "chuggers".

Most-admired politician: Ken Livingstone, not for his achievements, but for achieving them.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Risibly.

Perfect day: Any with time to count my blessings.

Fictional hero: Jim Dixon (Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis).

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Patrick Malahide (Minder's Detective Chisholm).

Hidden talent: I think the mentors have revealed all there are.

Most expensive purchase: Freedom (see marriage).

Desert island objects: Laptop, BlackBerry, lump hammer.

Lowdown: Group M's numbers wizard remains the acknowledged market leader in the media research game. His legacy still remains at ZenithOptimedia but his reports and statistics for Group M aim to have a more comprehensive feel by covering direct and digital in depth.

SMITH, CHRIS

Job: Chairman.

Company: Advertising Standards Authority, Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London WC1W 6QT.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7492 2244.

Born: 1951.

Career highlights: Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, 1997-2002; director of Clore Leadership Programme since 2003; chairman of ASA since 2007.

Why are you good at what you do?: Because the industry will know that I will be knowledgeable and fair, but also rigorous and impartial at the same time.

Greatest influence: Probably John Smith, the former leader of The Labour Party.

Fantasy business partner: David Puttnam.

Biggest risk taken: Tabling the motion against my own Government trying to stop us going to war in Iraq.

Best job outside advertising: Culture Secretary, almost certainly.

Favourite media: The Guardian, The New Yorker, The West Wing, Shameless, Radio 4, Classic FM, BBC news.

Favourite gadget: The answering service on my mobile, so I don't have to have it on all the time.

Clubs: I'm rather proud of being president of The Ramblers' Association.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela, because of his vision, commitment, and grace.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I don't do enough. I try to turn things off, and plant trees.

Perfect day: Climbing a mountain in the north west of Scotland and finishing the day off with a whisky or two.

Fictional hero: Will Ladislaw in Middlemarch.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: I wish it could be Antonio Banderas, but it couldn't.

Hidden talent: I used to play the piano, and would like to start again.

Most expensive purchase: Presents for my partner.

Desert island objects: My Tibetan terrier; the poems of Wordsworth; and Schubert's chamber music.

Lowdown: Popular with adland when he was the culture secretary and a valuable asset to the ASA because he knows his way around the corridors of power. But must now show he isn't malleable and not allow the ASA to be pushed around by vote-seeking politicians.

SMITH, LINDA

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Starcom MediaVest Group, Whitfield House, 89 Whitfield Street, London W1T 4HQ.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7190 8009.

Born: 1962.

Career highlights: Plc board, Capital Radio, 2002.Appointed chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group, 2006.

Why are you good at what you do?: I'm good at spotting more talented people than me, and listening to them.

Greatest influence: The Catholic Church. It keeps me honest and keeps me trying (in both senses).

Fantasy business partner: Roman Abramovich. He's successful and rich (and I'm an Arsenal fan).

Biggest risk taken: A horse-riding safari in the African Bush. Scary when you're a novice rider.

Best job outside advertising: A silver service waitress in Clacton on Sea, summer, 1980.

Favourite media: Can't limit them to one.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry.

Clubs: Wacl, The Marketing Society, Dulwich Riding Club, AFC, Slimming World.

Most-admired politician: Bill Clinton. Intelligent, clever, charismatic and lucky.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Recycle and cycle.

Perfect day: Sunday lunch with the family and close friends, in the back garden on a warm summer's day.

Fictional hero: Has to be Mr Darcy.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Crystal Tipps on a bad hair day.

Hidden talent: I can play the piano - rather badly.

Most expensive purchase: Before children, fine art.

Desert island objects: Hair straighteners, iPod, some sort of desert island battery charger.

Lowdown: Despite her undoubted commercial ability, it has nonetheless appeared to be quite a difficult year for Smith. Big structural changes at Starcom caused major fallout, and several senior people departed the agency. The jury is still out on whether or not these changes will pay off.

SMITH, NICK

Job: Marketing consultant.

Company: Accenture, 16 Dufours Place, London W1F 7SP.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7851 0467.

Born: Chalfont St Giles.

Career highlights: Group managing director of Accenture Marketing Sciences, joined 2007; 2001to 2006, British Gas, drector of marketing and strategy.After graduating from Cambridge, worked in advertising at Bates Dorland and Gold Greenlees Trott and brand management at Heinz.Clientside experience also includes stints as Sekonda managing director and a number of senior marketing roles at Alliance and Leicester. Fellow and former chairman of The Marketing Society, ISBA council.

Why are you good at what you do?: I haven't been found out.

Greatest influence: Dave Trott.

Fantasy business partner: Ellis Watson - never a dull day.

Biggest risk taken: Undisclosed.

Best job outside advertising: Archivist at Pinewood Studios.

Favourite media: The Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Match of the Day, Radio Five Live, ocado.com.

Favourite gadget: Corkscrew.

Clubs: MGGB, The Marketing Society, Home House, Beaconsfield RFC, National Trust and www.nowplayinginmyhead.com.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Undisclosed.

Perfect day: A day skiing.

Fictional hero: Biggles.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Lenny Henry.

Hidden talent: Balancing my glasses on my head.

Most expensive purchase: Watch.

Desert island objects: Webber barbecue, Bayliss radio, bat and a ball.

Lowdown: Despite being linked with the commercial director position at ITV, the former British Gas marketer Smith is still firmly rooted in his position at Accenture.

SMITH, ROBERT

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Farm Commu-nications, The Brass Foundry, 7 Midford Place, London W1S 3HT.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7874 6552.

Born: 1964.

Career highlights: Account director, Ogilvy & Mather, board director, BDDH, Founder/partner, Farm Communications.

Why are you good at what you do?: Fortunately, I've managed to learn one or two things in more than 20 years in the business, and people trust me (I think).

Greatest influence: Instinct.

Fantasy business partner: Whoever came up with the idea of pricing The A List.

Biggest risk taken: Leaving a secure job to set up our own agency - with an income (and salary) of zero.

Best job outside advertising: DJ'ing at Student Union.

Favourite media: The Independent, The Observer, Uncut, Life on Mars, Peep Show, Xfm, eBay.

Favourite gadget: The electric peppermill I got for Christmas, which comes complete with miniature headlights. It is the talk of every barbeque.

Clubs: Leicester City Football Club, Blockbuster.

Most-admired politician: We are a COI agency, so I'm politically neutral, obviously.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Where I can, I use public transport (or my legs) for business.

Perfect day: Lots of happy faces, great work up on the walls, topped off with a call to say we have won the business we've just pitched for. And still getting home while its light.

Fictional hero: Jack Bauer.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Bernard Summer from New Order, since that's who Dave, our head of TV (very kindly), says I look like.

Hidden talent: Where I have any talent, I've made sure everyone knows about it.

Most expensive purchase: Our garage contains enough musical kit for my two teenage sons to headline Glastonbury (obviously, one day, I'm hoping they will).

Desert island objects: My family, 1,000 tracks loaded onto an iPod, an electric peppermill with headlights.

Lowdown: The owner of one of the coolest names in adland has seen his agency take real strides after the difficulty of merging with Leith. Five COI wins on the bounce hints at a good new business team, and an agency that is out of the woods and pushing forward.

SMITH, STUART

Job: Head of planning.

Company: Wieden & Kennedy, 16 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7194 7029.

Born: 12 September 1969.

Career highlights: Counted sheep for the government, then won some awards by happening to work on Honda and stuff.

Why are you good at what you do?: I don't think I am. I just haven't been found out yet.

Greatest influence: My friends.

Fantasy business partner: Armando Ianucci.

Biggest risk taken: $1,000 on black (it was red).

Best job outside advertising: A police line-up extra.

Favourite media: The Observer, The Guide, The West Wing, Radio Five Live, Flickr.

Favourite gadget: Right now, Nike+.

Clubs: The Tufty Club (never got around to cancelling).

Most-admired politician: Tony Benn, for his mind, his resolve and, weirdly, his voice.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I don't, but I keep it low by not driving and turning the TV off properly.

Perfect day: A good friend's wedding.

Fictional hero: Billy the Fish.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Me... I nearly got a drama O-level.

Hidden talent: Hangover immunity.

Most expensive purchase: A TV that my girlfriend thinks is too big.

Desert island objects: Bowl, milk, box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

Lowdown: Smith has shown he can cut it strategically home and away. He demonstrated global planning skill when Wieden & Kennedy picked up Nokia and Visa over the summer. Rumours that his agency was having problems cracking The Guardian's brand were stylishly squashed when the agency released its colourful campaign for the newspaper in March and, barely three months later, snatched The Observer account as well.

SNOW, CHARLIE

Job: Head of planning.

Company: DLKW, 25 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7DA.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7438 4158.

Born: Friday 13.

Career highlights: Head of planning at DLKW since 2000. IPA Effectiveness Gold and APG Grand Prix winner.

Why are you good at what you do?: I try quite hard.

Greatest influence: My family.

Fantasy business partner: Roy Keane.

Biggest risk taken: Joining Delaney, Lund, Someone and Who in 2000.

Best job outside advertising: Reading the horseracing results.

Favourite media: The Times, Private Eye, 24, Radio 4, bbc.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: My garden shears.

Clubs: The Bank of England Sports Club.

Most-admired politician: Ken Clarke. Tells it like it is, and is very fond of suede.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Walk an hour a day to and from train stations.

Perfect day: Double art on a Friday.

Fictional hero: Jack Bauer.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons.

Hidden talent: Ask my wife.

Most expensive purchase: Private education.

Desert island objects: A big knife, a spade and a wheelbarrow.

Lowdown: One of London's finest planners, with one of the city's most mentalist haircuts. Has earned his stripes this year with strategic razzmatazz that has impressed many, and pulled in most of London's middleweight new business throughout the autum.

SNOWBALL, CILLA

Job: Chairman and chief executive, AMV Group and chairman, AMV BBDO.

Company: AMV Group, 151 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5QE.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7616 3666.

Born: 1 October 1958.

Career highlights: ABM, Ogilvy & Mather, AMV.

Why are you good at what you do?: I love it.

Greatest influence: I want to do it well.

Fantasy business partner: Already working with them.

Biggest risk taken: Unprintable.

Best job outside advertising: Macmillan trustee.

Favourite media: The Times, The Economist, Heroes, Radio 4, Net-a-porter.

Favourite gadget: Sat nav.

Clubs: Thirty, MGGB, Wacl.

Most-admired politician: Bill Clinton.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: With difficulty. Too many flights to New Zealand.

Perfect day: Remote beach in the sunshine with my kids.

Fictional hero: Batman.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Someone thinner than me.

Hidden talent: Jam.

Most expensive purchase: Holiday house.

Desert island objects: Jude Law, eyelash curlers and lobster pots.

Lowdown: The good cop to Farah Ramzan Golant's bad cop, the consummate Snowball has consistently moved further from the main agency as she looks at a wider group role. However, she has left a very talented senior management team in her place, which was always her plan.

SPRING, STEVIE

Job: Chief executive.

Company:

Future, Balcombe Street, London NW1 6NW.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7042 4007.

Born: 10 June 1957.

Career highlights: Law; marketing; breakfast tv launch; 16 years in ad agency management; 1999 to 2006, chief executive ClearChannel UK; 2006 to date, chief executive, Future; 2000 to present, chairman, Groundwork Federation; 2006 to present, trustee, Arts and Business.

Why are you good at what you do?: Work hard,play hard...and take decisions.

Greatest influence: Father. A working-class single parent who brought up two children in the 50s and 60s, against the odds.

Fantasy business partner: Bill Gates.

Biggest risk taken: Going public.

Best job outside advertising: Postman. I finished my round in three hours flat and had the rest of the day off.

Favourite media: The Sunday Times, The Week, House, Radio 4, Gloob.tv.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry, iPod.

Clubs: Soho House, Lambton, Wacl, MGGB, Blakes.

Most-admired politician: Hilary Clinton. Still prepared to take the wheel after all the stick she took back-seat driving.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Token gestures, similar to all western consumers. Every little helps.

Perfect day: Lie-in (not alone)... long run on a deserted beach with dogs...a longer, lazy, boozy brunch with mates outside in the sun somewhere with a glorious view...on to a concert where we know all the words to all the songs and can have a bop.

Fictional hero: Eliza Bennett.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Angelina Jolie (in my dreams)... Ruby Wax (in all probability).

Hidden talent: I can make the giant rocket go off at Tetris.

Most expensive purchase: Mandela paintings.

Desert island objects: Champagne, caviar, and my partner.

Lowdown: Spring is a force to be reckoned with. Now running a PLC, she's got more on her business plate than ever before. This has not diminished her ready smile, however.

STANNERS, KATE

Job: Executive creative director.

Company: Saatchi & Saatchi, 80 Charlotte Street, London W1A 1AQ.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7636 5060.

Born: 1962.

Career highlights: Dave Trott, Tim Hearn, St Luke's, Saatchi & Saatchi.

Why are you good at what you do?: Lust to learn, and I'm not scared to fail.

Greatest influence: Travelling on the Tube every day.

Fantasy business partner: Jose Mourinho.

Biggest risk taken: If I worried about risk, I'd do nothing.

Best job outside advertising: Bakery. Yum, doughnuts.

Favourite media: The Guardian, Vogue, Radio Five Live, Ocado.

Favourite gadget: Sky+.

Clubs: IPA, Wacl, RSA, Soho House.

Most-admired politician: Gordon Brown. He'll do the right thing.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Plant trees.

Perfect day: Nothing planned, sunny summer, husband, son, hoorah.

Fictional hero: Bart Simpson.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Michelle Pfeiffer.

Hidden talent: It should remain hidden.

Most expensive purchase: A painting.

Desert island objects: Chips, chips, chips.

Lowdown: Following a tough couple of years, that has witnessed the agency struggling to produce outstanding creative or convert pitches, and has also seen Stanners, linked with numerous jobs, she ended the year on a high by picking up the Labour Party account. However, she will need to improve the agency's game if it is to meet the demanding expectations of Robert Senior.

STARK, JEFF

Job: Commercials director.

Company: Another Film Company, 4th Floor, 14-17 Wells Mews, London W1T 3HF.

Work tel: +44 (0)771 676 1957.

Born: Glasgow.

Career highlights: Creative director, Hedger Mitchell Stark. Creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi. Proprietor, Stark Films. Partner, Another Film Company.

Why are you good at what you do?: Because I'm totally wonderful and never boast.

Greatest influence: My family.

Fantasy business partner: Nobody. I'd own it 100 per cent.

Biggest risk taken: Attempting to sail around the world.

Best job outside advertising: Stand-up comic, Petticoat Lane stallholder.

Favourite media: Radio 3.

Favourite gadget: Tennis racquet.

Clubs: The Groucho Club, Century.

Most-admired politician: Oliver Cromwell. He was an anti-monarchist like me.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I walk a lot.

Perfect day: Shooting a good script for an enthusiastic creative team and an understanding client.

Fictional hero: Toad of Toad Hall.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Eric Idle.

Hidden talent: Maths.

Most expensive purchase: Oceangoing yacht.

Desert island objects: The Times crossword every day, Radio 4, hammock.

Lowdown: Stark has never lost the creative vision he honed as creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, making him a popular choice with agencies today. Had a former career as a stand-up comic, with an act ridiculing the cocaine-fuelled 80s adman stereotype. Well-read and witty, he's is a top-class bon-viveur on-shoot.

STEAD, JONATHAN

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Rapier, The Network Building, 97 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4T.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7369 8102.

Born: June 1960.

Career highlights: MBO of Rapier, 1988, Direct Agency of the Year, 2005, 2006.

Why are you good at what you do?: Persistence, patience and paranoia.

Greatest influence: The planet Mercury.

Fantasy business partner: Steve Jobs.

Biggest risk taken: Borrowing money from my best friend to buy Rapier.

Best job outside advertising: Lifeguard.

Favourite media: Financial Times, The Week, Arrested Development, Radio 4, weather.com.

Favourite gadget: Speed camera detector.

Clubs: Groucho, Home House, Met Bar, Soho House.

Most-admired politician: Tony Blair. I genuinely believe that he tried to do the right thing.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Inadequately.

Perfect day: Going for a run, day with my family on a beach, dinner with my wife at L'Anerie.

Fictional hero: Tony Soprano.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Jake Gyllenhaal.

Hidden talent: If only...

Most expensive purchase: My wife's second engagement ring (after she lost the first one).

Desert island objects: A comfortable bed, some binoculars, wi-fi broadband.

Lowdown: To sell or not to sell - now that is the question. After securing Lloyds TSB, adding another gargantuan brand to the agency's client list, it would seem that there couldn't be a better time for Stead to sign on the dotted line. But with three houses and four cars, what will he spend his cash on?

STRETTON, STEVE

Job: Creative partner.

Company: Archibald Ingall Stretton, Bermers House, 47-48 Bermers Street, London W1T 3NF.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7467 6100.

Born: Leamington Spa.

Career highlights: Singing with Bono.

Why are you good at what you do?: Am I?

Greatest influence: My mum.

Fantasy business partner: Brian Clough.

Biggest risk taken: Starting an agency with Stuart Archibald.

Best job outside advertising: Double-glazing salesman.

Favourite media: The Observer, The Observer Sport Monthly, Match of The Day, Radio Five Live, ccfc.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: My Canon printer.

Clubs: D&AD.

Most-admired politician: Politicians and admiration don't really go together.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Do what Stuart Archibald tells me to do.

Perfect day: Saturday.

Fictional hero: Roy of The Rovers.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Marty Feldman.

Hidden talent: I can't find it.

Most expensive purchase: A Pret A Manger sandwich.

Desert island objects: A DVD of the 1987 FA Cup Final, a DVD player and a generator.

Lowdown: Stretton proved once again this year that he's worthy of his weighty reputation in the industry. The creative netted a Campaign Direct award for the agency for its Skoda work and his fun character continues to inspire his creative teams to produce some great work.

STUDHOLME, JAMES

Job: Ginger supremo.

Company: Blink Productions, Furlined, Colonel Blimp, 181 Wardour Street, London W1F 8W2.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7494 0747.

Born: 1960.

Career highlights: Right here. Right now.

Why are you good at what you do?: Didn't know I was.

Greatest influence: My dad and Charlie Skinner.

Fantasy business partner: Elliot Roberts.

Biggest risk taken: Opening a company in America.

Best job outside advertising: Combine harvester driver.

Favourite media: The Guardian, The Week, Match of the Day, Radio 4, Passiveaggressivenotes.com.

Favourite gadget: Pro Tools.

Clubs: MCC, Groucho Club, Soho Houses.

Most-admired politician: Can't think of one I actually admire. Nelson Mandela, as a man.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Plant a lot of trees.

Perfect day: Writing a song.

Fictional hero: Muttley.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Damian Lewis (ginger toff, but younger and better looking).

Hidden talent: Can do a passable imitation of Blakey from On the Buses.

Most expensive purchase: A wood.

Desert island objects: A "Gentleman's Gentleman", guitar. An unlimited supply of Trotanoy 1990.

Lowdown: Some of the bigger names on his roster may have departed this year, but Studholme ploughs on regardless, and he never appears to be anything but resolutely cheerful. His production company, Blink, "facilitated" Fallon's drumming gorilla spot for Cadbury - a high point on the reel this year.

STUDZINSKI, NIK

Job: Executive creative director.

Company: Publicis, 82 Baker Street, London W1U 6AE .

Work tel: +4 (0)20 7830 3485.

Born: 3 May 1970.

Career highlights: My first job and my current job.

Why are you good at what you do?: I like people.

Greatest influence: Sheldon Kopp.

Fantasy business partner: Stephen Fry.

Biggest risk taken: Leaving the comfort of Saatchis. Twice.

Best job outside advertising: Glass collector at the Crown Hotel, Nantwich.

Favourite media: The Guardian, NME, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Radio 2, YouTube.

Favourite gadget: Capo.

Clubs: None.

Most-admired politician: None.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I walk.

Perfect day: Any day that involves being well fed (like a goose).

Fictional hero: Nigel Tufnel.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: John Simm.

Hidden talent: Playing the guitar (like Les Dawson played the piano).

Most expensive purchase: My guitar.

Desert island objects: Guitar, iPod, pizza delivery menu.

Lowdown: Must be starting to feel like he sees a new face in the senior management team everyday. The quiet and unassuming creative is the last of a team that has all walked in the past year - however much he'll relish this new challenge, he may have to work hard to impress Neil Simpson, who seems to be more than happy to swing the axe.

SUGDEN, MICHAEL

Job: Managing partner.

Company: VCCP, Greencoat House, Francis Street, Victoria, London SW1P 1DH.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7592 7465.

Born: Scotland.

Career highlights: VCCP's growth from five to 150 people in five small years. Winning IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix for O2.

Why are you good at what you do?: I have perspective. At the end of the day, it's only marketing. Nobody's gonna die.

Greatest influence: My dad. He gets it.

Fantasy business partner: Steve Jobs.

Biggest risk taken: Tuareg Motorcycle Rally across the Sahara. Psychotic. Crashed 12 times.

Best job outside advertising: Tractor driver.

Favourite media: The Week, The Economist, 24, Radio Five Live, Google Earth.

Favourite gadget: Nintendo DS.

Clubs: None.

Most-admired politician: Winston Churchill. He won.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: By keeping my old car. More energy is used in the production of a new car than is used in its lifespan.

Perfect day: Mountain, sun, fresh snow, pair of skis.

Fictional hero: Tintin.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Steve Jobs or Nick Leeson. Ask me again in a few years' time.

Hidden talent: Green bowling.

Most expensive purchase: Two-acre emerald mine in Queensland.

Desert island objects: Sky Sports, my family, my dog.

Lowdown: As managing partner, the energetic and extremely competent Sugden is the outside face of the agency, and the conduit between the top four and the rest of the staff - a role he fills with ease and skill.

SUTHERLAND, RORY

Job: Vice chairman and nightshift supervisor.

Company: Ogilvy Group UK, 10 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QB.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7345 3000.

Born: 12 November 1965.

Career highlights: Joined Ogilvy, September 1988. Vice-chairman, 2006.

Why are you good at what you do?: A terror of the obvious (which is why I'm just as often bad at what I do).

Greatest influence: My parents.

Fantasy business partner: Vincent Bollore - a true advertising visionary.

Biggest risk taken: See above.

Best job outside advertising: Driving a forklift truck at the Ribena factory.

Favourite media: The International Herald Tribune, The Spectator, The Wire, LBC, wikipedia.

Favourite gadget: Wi-fi.

Clubs: The Walbrook; The Nespresso Club.

Most-admired politician: Alan Clark (you need to ask why).

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I am largely vegetarian. Cars pollute less than cows.

Perfect day: A morning spent with my daughters; an evening spent without them.

Fictional hero: Sherlock Holmes.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Robert Morley.

Hidden talent: Numeracy.

Most expensive purchase: Annoyingly, I seem to be the only person on The A-List who pays for his Sky package.

Desert island objects: A large library of true-life crime. The complete Al Bowlly. An Indian restaurant designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Lowdown: This talented copywriter holds the title as one of the most eccentric creatives in the DM industry, and his collection of cravats must now be nearly as big as his collection of friends on Facebook. Sartorial appearance aside, he has helped make 2007 a stellar year for OgilvyOne, and is fast becoming adland's most erudite and provocative writer.

T

TAYLOR, STUART

Job: Commercial director.

Company: GMG Radio, 26-27 Castlereagh Street, London W1H 5DL.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7706 6100.

Born: Sort of mid-60s.

Career highlights: Commercial director, Guardian News and Media, berliner format change, commercial director, GMG Radio.

Why are you good at what you do?: Ask my boss, ask my team, ask our clients.

Greatest influence: Michael O'Leary.

Fantasy business partner: .

Biggest risk taken: Undisclosed.

Best job outside advertising: Dustman.

Favourite media: The Guardian, Elle Deco, The West Wing, Smooth Radio, www.aquarterof.com,.

Favourite gadget: Digital camera.

Clubs: Soho House, St Enodoc Golf Club, Cornwall.

Most-admired politician: Chris Patten, for talking sense, most of the time.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Recycle lots, drive less, walk and cycle more.

Perfect day: Golf or cycling, then dinner with family and friends.

Fictional hero: The bloke in Pedro Almodovar's Sex and Lucia.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Joe Simpson.

Hidden talent: I cook a mean lemon tart.

Most expensive purchase: Undisclosed.

Desert island objects: Undisclosed.

Lowdown: Last August was an emotional time for Taylor as he prepared to leave Guardian Newspapers for an equivalent role at its radio business. As well as presiding over its commercial operations (and a spat with Global Radio), Taylor is also responsible for GMG Radio's Smooth brand in London.

TEER, PHIL

Job: Planning partner.

Company: St Luke's Commu-nications, 22 Duke's Road, London WC1H 9PN.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7380 8888.

Born: 1967.

Career highlights: Joining St Luke's.

Why are you good at what you do?: I hate bad advertising (which is 95 per cent of the stuff).

Greatest influence: Howard Gossage, for keeping it small and beautiful.

Fantasy business partner: Howard Gossage.

Biggest risk taken: Staying put.

Best job outside advertising: I worked on a demolition squad for a summer.

Favourite media: The Guardian, London Review of Books, The Wire, Parkinson on Sunday morning, adliterate.

Favourite gadget: iPod nano.

Clubs: None.

Most-admired politician: Gordon Brown, for being a grown-up.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Recycle, buy green.

Perfect day: The day of the big pitch.

Fictional hero: Rebus.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Dennis Hopper.

Hidden talent: Dunno.

Most expensive purchase: My bed.

Desert island objects: Fishing rod, cigarettes, lighter.

Lowdown: The impenetrably Glaswegian Tier, who almost needs a translator present at pitches, hasn't had much to shout about this year. Despite pitching for several pieces of business, the talented planner hasn't yet got hold of many fresh accounts to sink his teeth into.

THEAKSTONE, NICK

Job: Chief operating officer.

Company: Group M UK, Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8RX.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7158 5500.

Born: York.

Career highlights: MindShare, Group M UK.

Why are you good at what you do?: Passionate and focused.

Greatest influence: Group M senior management (all).

Fantasy business partner: Stephen Allan.

Biggest risk taken: Leaving BMP media department.

Best job outside advertising: Milkman.

Favourite media: The Times, Golf Monthly, Sky Sports, LBC/BBC.

Favourite gadget: Sky+ HD.

Clubs: Royal Mid Surrey, Soho House, Park Club.

Most-admired politician: Don't admire any.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: With gusto.

Perfect day: Mixture of family, golf, dinner with friends.

Fictional hero: Superman.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Jack Nicholson.

Hidden talent: Cooking.

Most expensive purchase: Watch.

Desert island objects: Fridge, TV, radio.

Lowdown: In the past, Theakstone's high energy approach has led people, not least media owners, to compare him to Tigger, the irrepressible but sometimes guileless character in A A Milne's children's stories. He has, however, been acquiring more than a little gravitas in his role as the UK's most powerful media negotiator.

THOMAS, CHRIS

Job: Chairman and chief executive.

Company: BBDO Asia-Pacific, Temasek Tower, 8 Shenton Way, Singapore 068811.

Work tel: +6 565 332 200.

Born: 1962.

Career highlights: Eleven years spent at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as it grew into the most successful agency in London. A rollercoaster at Ammirat Puris Lintas soon to be renamed Lowe Lintas. Three years at Proximity London learning that some of the smartest people in the communications business work in what is laughably called "below the line". Nearly two years in Asia, in the most dynamic region in the world.

Why are you good at what you do?: I love it. Every minute of it.

Greatest influence: My parents.

Fantasy business partner: David Abbott.

Biggest risk taken: Kitesurfing 26 miles from Rottnest Island to Perth in Western Australia.

Best job outside advertising: Prawn trawlerman.

Favourite media: The Week, The Economist, BBC World, Service, Google News (I am an expat).

Favourite gadget: Bose sound system.

Clubs: Singapore Island Country Club.

Most-admired politician: Margaret Thatcher, for clarity of purpose and ability to implement.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I invested in a company called Climate Change Capital five years ago. It was set up by a friend to trade carbon credits and to manage investments in eco-friendly companies. I step on planes four times a week. I do so with a clearer conscience and a slightly heavier wallet.

Perfect day: Perth Western Australia. 4.30am alarm. 5.00am, tee off with my wife and four children. 10.00am brunch. Snooze. 12.30pm rig kitesurfer. 1.00pm to 6.00pm kitesurf the Freemantle Doctor. 7.30pm steak, bottle of Cape Mentelle. 10.00pm check alarm is set. Bed.

Fictional hero: Ayn Rand's John Galt.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: I dread to think.

Hidden talent: I try not to hide any of the limited talent I have available.

Most expensive purchase: A 16-foot Taipan racing catamaran.

Desert island objects: My kitesurfer. My wife. And my children.

Lowdown: Currently looking at BBDO's shortcomings in Asia - a region with huge growth potential - in typical high-octane fashion. Ebullient, and with a laugh capable of being heard the length and breadth of the Pacific, he has a reputation for being both indefatigable and undeflated by pressure.

THOMAS, PAUL

Job: Investment director, publishing.

Company: MindShare, 40 The Strand London WC2N 5RF.

Work tel: 02079694040.

Born: Old enough now to refer to it as "in the 60s".

Career highlights: Started 1985... still employed today.

Why are you good at what you do?: Simple. I get paid to do something I like doing.

Greatest influence: My family.

Fantasy business partner: Genghis Khan.

Biggest risk taken: Answering the question "Does my bum look big in this?" truthfully.

Best job outside advertising: Scarifying people's gardens.

Favourite media: The Times, The Week, American Chopper, Radio 4, eBay.

Favourite gadget: PS3.

Clubs: Old Vikings, Ludgershall players.

Most-admired politician: Gandhi. He said: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I recycle as much as possible, grow my own vegetables and buy as much local produce as I can.

Perfect day: "Be intent upon the perfection of the present day," William Law said.

Fictional hero: Flashman, who is also my anti-hero.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Mike Myers.

Hidden talent: Making people believe I have some.

Most expensive purchase: My children's education. Still counting.

Desert island objects: A yacht, a map, a compass.

Lowdown: One of the more talented of the press buying community, Thomas now presides over MindShare's investment across other media. "Thommo" remains a familiar face on the media owner dinner circuit, but still somehow finds time to spend with his young family.

THOMPSON, DIANNE

Job: Chief executive.

Company: Camelot Group, Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts WD18 9RN.

Work tel: +44 (0)1923 425000.

Born: 31 December 1950.

Career highlights: Winning the second and third licences for The National Lottery, and helping to raise more than ú20 billion for good causes (and counting).

Why are you good at what you do?: Persistence, hard work, enjoyment and belief in both Camelot and The National Lottery.

Greatest influence:

My parents, who gave me my work ethic.

Fantasy business partner: Raymond Blanc. Yum.

Biggest risk taken: Launching EuroMillions, the biggest lottery game in the world - spanning three currencies, six languages, two timezones, nine countries and ten lotteries.

Best job outside advertising: Developing the women-focused wallpaper range while at ICI. I was also taught how to decorate.

Favourite media: I read all of them. My favourite depends on the day. Love The Week. I enjoy Dragon's Den, and any murder mystery. I like Classic FM, Radio 4, LBC, BBC News.

Favourite gadget: Electric toothbrush.

Clubs: Wacl, Fellow of The Marketing Society, London Press Club, Companion Chartered Management Institute, Liveryman Worshipful Company of Marketors, Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, member of PCC - virtually no time for anything else!

Most-admired politician: Sebastian Coe, for bringing people together and the Olympic Games to the UK.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Camelot has reduced its footprint by 29 per cent in the last year (moving our car fleet to diesel, adopting green energy, more efficient use of resources). In addition, we are offsetting our remaining CO2 emissions by investing in the world's first gold-standard wind farm project in New Zealand. And I walk wherever possible.

Perfect day: Usually a Sunday with my daughter, a good meal and a nice glass of wine.

Fictional hero: Kay Scarpetta.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Holly Hunter (she's only about an inch taller than me) or Dame Judi Dench.

Hidden talent: Killer Sudoku -I'm a complete addict.

Most expensive purchase: Holidays with my daughter and dad.

Desert island objects: Raymond Blanc to cook for me, a CD of Madame Butterfly and a raft building for beginners book.

Lowdown: Camelot's success in retaining its licence to run the National Lottery until 2019 is testament to her tenacity. She oversaw a bid document running to more than 18,000 pages and which cost more than ú20 million to compile. Quite an achievement for somebody who describes herself as "the product of a Northern working-class family".

THOMPSON, PETER

Job: Chief executive.

Company: G2 EMEA, 79 Wells Street, London W1T 3QN.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7453 7902.

Born: 2 April 1955.

Career highlights: Creating and watching Joshua grow over 20 years.

Why are you good at what you do?: Probably my ability to understand other people's points of view.

Greatest influence: My bank manager.

Fantasy business partner: Jeremy Clarkson (he's tall enough to be able to look me in the eye).

Biggest risk taken: Starting my own agency.

Best job outside advertising: Being a dad.

Favourite media: The Telegraph, Campaign (of course), Have I Got News For You, Radio 4, Google.

Favourite gadget: My tractor.

Clubs: Soho House.

Most-admired politician: Bill Clinton, because of his clarity and intellect.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Let the sheep eat the grass instead of topping it.

Perfect day: Today.

Fictional hero: Biggles, who inspired my lifelong love of flying.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Harrison Ford.

Hidden talent: Song writing.

Most expensive purchase: Not sure, but my wife's probably wearing it.

Desert island objects: iPod, chess set, guitar.

Lowdown: Thompson lived up to his stature when he was appointed to the G2 EMEA remit earlier in the year. The affable and persuasive character seems ideally suited to create a common philosophy across the European network and develop the business using the Joshua model he helped found 20 years ago.

THOMSON, DON

Job: Group commercial and operations director.

Company: Global Radio, The Chrysalis Building, Bramley Road, London W10 6SP.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7470 1012.

Born: 1952.

Career highlights: Starting up Chrysalis Radio with Phil Riley.

Why are you good at what you do?: I always employ the best people I can find.

Greatest influence: Karen, my wife.

Fantasy business partner: Philip Green.

Biggest risk taken: Driven a racing car in a competitive race at Oulton Park.

Best job outside advertising: Sales rep for Kellogg's - great training ground.

Favourite media: The Telegraph, any golf magazine, Have I Got News For You, LBC, GuardianUnlimited.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry (sadly).

Clubs: Solus, SWIGS, MPA.

Most-admired politician: Bill Clinton. The most charismatic politician. He always found a way.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: No more domestic flights - I drive (more to do with the queues than the carbon).

Perfect day: It would invole a golf course, lunch, red wine, and friends.

Fictional hero: Robin Hood.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Jack Nicholson.

Hidden talent: I'm a scratch golfer (it's in there somewhere).

Most expensive purchase: Shares in Chrysalis.

Desert island objects: A radio, a box of flares and some matches.

Lowdown: Thomson survived a cull of senior management after Global's acquisition of the Chrysalis Radio assets. Gaining a promotion, his commercial experience will be vital to a radio group guided by the maverick programming skills of Richard Park.

TILBIAN, LORNA

Job: Executive director.

Company: Numis Corporation, Cheapside House, 138 Cheapside, London EC2B 6LH.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7260 1324.

Born: April Fool's Day.

Career highlights: Sheppards, SG Warburg, Panmure Gordon and Numis.

Why are you good at what you do?: Focus, focus, focus.

Greatest influence: Warren Buffett.

Fantasy business partner: Harry Potter.

Biggest risk taken: Buying a stake in Numis.

Best job outside advertising: First job ever. Selling shoes in New York City.

Favourite media: Financial Times, Harper's Bazaar, Newsnight, LBC, Citywebwatch.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry. (Silly question).

Clubs: HG Capital Media Club.

Most-admired politician: Lady Thatcher. She had more balls than most.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Drinking tap water, recycling and giving up my car.

Perfect day: A sunny Spring day in the Med.

Fictional hero: Heathcliff.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Susan Sarandon.

Hidden talent: I speak several languages.

Most expensive purchase: Buying a stake in Numis.

Desert island objects: BlackBerry, a spare battery (for BlackBerry) and SPF 60.

Lowdown: The grande dame of advertising analysts, Tilbian seems more passionate about the business than ever. And for a woman whose shrewd grasp of the marcoms business commands enormous respect, she's also quite down to earth.

TILLEY, ANDY

Job: Founding partner.

Company: Unity, 7-10 Beaumont Mews, London W1G 6EB.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7317 2900.

Born: 22 September 1956.

Career highlights: BMP; Delaney Fletcher Delaney; Zenith Media; Unity; Ingram; Unity reborn.

Why are you good at what you do?: If I am, it's because I love what I do.

Greatest influence: Ollie; Tim Cox; Ivan; Richard; Carolyn. And realising that after last year's health scare, each day is so precious.

Fantasy business partner: Since you haven't defined your terms, it would either be Tim Smit (chief executive and visionary of The Eden Project) or Eva Herzigova (six-foot blonde).

Biggest risk taken: Eschewing the comforts of PAYE and explaining why to my wife. (That's two!).

Best job outside advertising: Going back to the council estate where I grew up to work on a youth project with five to 15-year-olds.

Favourite media: The Guardian, Private Eye, Mock the Week, with Kevin Brown fronting it, Radio 4, abebooks.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: My Nikon D200, which was a present from Ivan Pollard.

Clubs: The Hospital Club, The Cricketers Club of London, Nadir Dining Services.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela. He is living proof that you don't need to be a lying, two-faced charlatan to be in politics.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Taking the train and walking everywhere once I'm in London. Giving up sprouts and cabbage.

Perfect day: Walking along The Ridgeway in the sun to a small village inn with people I care about, and my dog, too.

Fictional hero: Titus Groan.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: A 50-year-old Paul McCartney. Isn't that right, Jeremy?

Hidden talent: Photography.

Most expensive purchase: My wife Ollie's birthday or Christmas present.

Desert island objects: The Gormenghast trilogy; Let it Be by The Beatles, my Nikon D200.

Lowdown: The closure of Ingram this year was a real blow to anyone involved. But the cerebral Tilley has taken the opportunity to resurrect his old strategic media brand, Unity. Whether or not he will make more of a success of it this time around remains to be seen.

TINDALL, JUSTIN

Job: Creative partner.

Company: The Red Brick Road, 50-54 Beak Street, London W1F 9RN.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7575 7600.

Born: 1965.

Career highlights: Witnessing Adam Tucker sing a rewrite of Antmusic in an attempt to sell a script.

Why are you good at what you do?: I don't know, and I don't want to know.

Greatest influence: Fear.

Fantasy business partner: Hugh Janus.

Biggest risk taken: Mixing Bodoni Bold Condensed with Granby Elephant.

Best job outside advertising: Naming the colours on a paint chart.

Favourite media: The Guardian, Swindle, Lost, Radio 4, David Reviews.

Favourite gadget: Remote control lighting.

Clubs: I think I'm still a member of The Tufty Club.

Most-admired politician: Arnold Schwarzenegger, because he's hard.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I take my Range Rover on short journeys.

Perfect day: 27 September 1997.

Fictional hero: Micklemas Vickle.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Kriss Akabusi, and I would call it Awooga.

Hidden talent: Casting.

Most expensive purchase: My desert island.

Desert island objects: Spooky. Eyepatch. Hook. Parrot.

Lowdown: Very much settled after leaving his partner Adam Tucker at DDB, Tindall is responsible for a colourful output of work at The Red Brick Road. including the Heineken spot of a lobster entertaining a girl in the bath. Some of his former colleagues were surprised to see him rock up uninvited to the DDB pre-Cannes party in June.

TORPE, JENS

Job: Chief executive.

Company: City A.M., New London Bridge House, 25 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7015 1200.

Born: 1969.

Born: 10 February 1950.

Career highlights: Launched the Sunday edition of Denmark's biggest newspaper back in the 80s; involved in establishing the largest satelliteTV network in Scandinavia during the 90s, and was responsible for launching free newspapers in 16 different countries as chief operating officer for Metro International from 1999 to 2004.

Why are you good at what you do?: I care for detail; albeit sometimes too much, and I always try to see the process from the end user's point of view.

Greatest influence: The Swedish entrepreneur Jan Stenbeck, with whom I worked for ten years. A giant in every sense of the word. He pioneered commercial television and mobile telephony in northern Europe.

Fantasy business partner: Undisclosed.

Biggest risk taken: Probably leaving the corporate world three years ago to try to set up my own business.

Best job outside advertising: Working as a roadie on The Rolling Stones' European tour in 1970.

Favourite media: CityA.M.; The Economist; Match of the Day; Radio 4.

Favourite gadget: Adobe Photoshop.

Clubs: Undisclosed.

Most-admired politician: Margaret Thatcher. Not only did she transform Britain, but she also changed the political mindset for a generation.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I don't, I'm afraid.

Perfect day: Sailing with my daughter and my wife on a beautiful Nordic summer day in the Danish lake district where I grew up.

Fictional hero: Undisclosed.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Undisclosed.

Hidden talent: People say that I'm a decent photographer.

Most expensive purchase: My beautiful wooden tourist-boat from 1916.

Desert island objects: I would bore myself to death within a week, so I would only need one thing: A big boat with enough petrol to take me back to Europe as quickly as possible.

Lowdown: The brains behind the City A.M. business freesheet, Torpe blends a hard-work ethic with an easy-going nature which may go some way to explaining his success. His love of tobacco is legendary.

TOWNSHEND, JOHN

Job: Creative partner.

Company: Rapier, The Network Building, 97 Tottenham Court Road, London WIT 4TP.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7369 8000.

Born: 17 June 1962, very early on a Sunday morning.

Career highlights: Kissing Uma Thurman.

Why are you good at what you do?: I try very hard.

Greatest influence: Freddie Mercury.

Fantasy business partner: Jonathan Stead. I live out my fantasies every day.

Biggest risk taken: Joining a funny little agency called Rapier.

Best job outside advertising: Selling frozen peas in a Norfolk lane.

Favourite media: The Sunday Times, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Xfm, The Chap.

Favourite gadget: A V electronic drum kit.

Clubs: Century, Queen Fan Club.

Most-admired politician: Winston Churchill. Because he saved the world.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I get the bus to work when I have left my car at work the night before, because I was far too drunk to drive.

Perfect day: Messing about in a little boat.

Fictional hero: Dan Dare.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Owen Wilson, when he gets better.

Hidden talent: All of them.

Most expensive purchase: Lunch.

Desert island objects: Vaseline DermaCare, Robinson's Barley Water, Horace.

Lowdown: This much-loved plummy creative continues to channel his talents for tickling people's funny bones into the sexiest direct TV ads around. Uma Thurman aside, whoever buys the profitable shop had better make sure Townshend's humour and passion lives on.

TROTT, DAVE

Job: Creative director.

Company: Chick Smith Trott, 57 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JU.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7907 1200.

Born: 22 May 1947.

Career highlights: BMP, GGT, BST, WTCS, CST.

Why are you good at what you do?: As Armand Hammer said: 'People say I've been lucky. But it seems to me, the harder I work the luckier I get."

Greatest influence: Mike Tesch (Alley Gargano); John Webster (BMP).

Fantasy business partner: Banksy.

Biggest risk taken: I don't take risks unless I'm drunk.

Best job outside advertising: Deckhand on a freighter in 1970.

Favourite media: Apart from The Independent and YouTube, I'm not brand loyal. I read articles, watch programmes, and listen to music wherever I find it.

Favourite gadget: Listerine strips, disposable fountain pen.

Clubs: Groucho.

Most-admired politician:

As Bob Hope said: "You can see when a politician is lying, you can see his lips move."

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Once we've solved the Third World debt crisis, and the Aids pandemic, I'll worry about NIMBY issues.

Perfect day: Starbucks, art gallery, Starbucks, art gallery, Starbucks, movie or concert.

Fictional hero: Homer Simpson.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: My son reckons Sid James.

Hidden talent: Reciting Harry Champion lyrics (some would say not hidden enough).

Most expensive purchase: My wife's clothes.

Desert island objects: Tea, milk, sugar.

Lowdown: After more than three decades in the business, adland's most famous Buddhist has become something of a national treasure. Time was when novice creatives would crawl across broken glass to learn at his feet. Less likely these days, perhaps, although Trott on advertising still makes for compelling listening.

TUCKER, ADAM

Job: Creative head.

Company: Fallon London, 67-69 Beak Street W1F 9SW.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7534 9179.

Born: 12 March 1966.

Career highlights: First D&AD Pencil. Becoming creative director at DDB London. Becoming a creative partner at Fallon.

Why are you good at what you do?: I'm a bit of a worrier.

Greatest influence: Fear.

Fantasy business partner: Elle Macpherson.

Biggest risk taken: Drinking with Jeremy Craigen.

Best job outside advertising: Barman at 1987 Gay Pride.

Favourite media: The Guardian, The Week, The Sopranos, Radio Five Live.

Favourite gadget: Pencil.

Clubs: None.

Most-admired politician: Mohammed Yunus (not a politician in the strictest sense, but had an idea that changed people's lives).

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Recycling The A-List.

Perfect day: 12 March.

Fictional hero: Patrick Bateman.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: With any luck, me.

Hidden talent: I can play the guitar.

Most expensive purchase: A ring.

Desert island objects: Library. Hair clippers. Ray Mears.

Lowdown: Following the departure of his 17-year partner, Justin Tindall, it came as little surprise when Tucker announced his departure from DDB in June to join Micah Walker and Juan Cabral at Fallon. But such a powerful strata of creative talent, Tucker will need to move mountains to make his mark.

TULLO, PAUL

Job: Board creative director.

Company: Tullo Marshall Warren, 81 Kings Road, London SW3 4NX.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7340 4000.

Born: 3 January 1957.

Career highlights: Design graduate. Designer in corporate design company. Art director in advertising agencies. Founded TMW with Richard Marshall and Chris Warren. As creative director, helped TMW becomes one of the UK's leading DM agencies.

Why are you good at what you do?: I'm never satisfied with the work we do and always want to improve on everything.

Greatest influence: Richard Marshall and Chris Warren.

Fantasy business partner: Gordon Ramsay. For his pursuit of perfection at all costs (lunches would be good, too).

Biggest risk taken: White-water rafting in South America.

Best job outside advertising: I love the outdoors, and have fond memories of working on a farm while I was a student.

Favourite media: The Independent, The Economist, The Week, Radio 4, ba.com.

Favourite gadget: My Apple Mac laptop.

Clubs: Two golf clubs, which I never have time to go to.

Most-admired politician: I have started admiring Michael Portillo since he retired from politics. He appears with Diane Abbott on the BBC's This Week, which I think is television at its very best, and superb political commentary.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I ride a motorcycle to work. I recycle everything I can (except ideas).

Perfect day: A few holes of golf in the morning, a long lunch, a wander around theTate Modern in the afternoon and then the theatre in the evening.

Fictional hero: Asterix.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Telly Savalas.

Hidden talent: Photography.

Most expensive purchase: Another house.

Desert island objects: Nikon SLR digital camera, Apple Mac laptop and golf clubs.

Lowdown: Despite hiding in the shadows of his two agency partners, Tullo's pragmatic nature and creative drive continues to be the agency's secret ingredient. He's taken on the role of digital evangelist this year, driving digital recruitment and a utopian vision of great creativity regardless of channel.

TUTSSEL, MARK

Job: Worldwide chief creative officer.

Company: Leo Burnett Worldwide, 35 Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60601.

Work tel: +1 312 220 1439.

Born: 1958.

Career highlights: Joined Leo Burnett London as a senior art director in 1986; promoted to creative director in 1994; promoted to executive creative director, 1999; promoted to regional chief creative officer North America, 2001; promoted to worldwide chief creative officer, 2006.

Why are you good at what you do?: Because I care.

Greatest influence: My father.

Fantasy business partner: Richard Branson.

Biggest risk taken: Moving to the US.

Best job outside advertising: Lifeguard.

Favourite media: The Sunday Times, i-D, Only Fools and Horses, KCRW Santa Monica, mcsweeneys.net.

Favourite gadget: iPhone.

Clubs: Soho House, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London Welsh Rugby Club, East Bank Club Chicago, Second Life.

Most-admired politician: Nelson Mandela. He changed mankind.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I walk to work.

Perfect day: Any day spent with my son.

Fictional hero: Tintin.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Paul McCartney.

Hidden talent: I can play God Save the Queen on a recorder.

Most expensive purchase: Ask my wife.

Desert island objects: Prada sunglasses, Clarins intensive tanning oil SPF4 and a hammock.

Lowdown: Despite being the stand-in executive creative director at the London agency when Jim Thornton left, the Welshman still spent most of his time in Chicago overseeing the network's creative product, a daunting job for anybody. Looks to be giving the UK shop the autonomy it craves.

TWINN, IAN

Job: Director of public affairs.

Company: ISBA, Langham House, 1b Portland Place, London W1B 1PN.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7291 9020.

Born: 1950.

Career highlights: Lecturer in town planning (eight years), MP for Edmonton (14 years), ISBA director (nine years), MEP for London (less than a year).

Why are you good at what you do?: I like people.

Greatest influence: My parents.

Fantasy business partner: Stelios Hajijannou.

Biggest risk taken: Starting a PhD.

Best job outside advertising: Assuming we would agree that being a politician is rather closely aligned to advertising, I would have to say I still miss teaching.

Favourite media: The Daily Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated, Spooks, Radio 4 (sorry guys), eBay antiquarian books.

Favourite gadget: Dishwasher.

Clubs: Royal Automobile, Edmonton Conservative Workingman's Club, NTB.

Most-admired politician: Margaret Thatcher for clarity of purpose, achievement and lasting impact.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Recycling, composting everything in sight.

Perfect day: Sitting in the shade, reading Trollope, by the Med in Cyprus.

Fictional hero: Elizabeth Bennett.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: My wife voted for Richard Gere... I am still thinking about this.

Hidden talent: French polishing.

Most expensive purchase: Collecting books.

Desert island objects: A wind-up radio, a pile of books and a cellar of wine.

Lowdown: Twinn is a key player in the marcom industry's attempt to face down its critics. He has called on Gordon Brown's administration to bring Government departments together in a more joined-up approach to the obesity crisis. He has also been scathing of pressure groups lobbying for a 9pm watershed for alcohol and gaming ads, accusing them of being anti-business.

U

UNERMAN, SUE

Job: Chief strategy officer.

Company: MediaCom, 124 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8RX.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7158 5500.

Born: July 24.

Career highlights: Growing MediaCom to number one.

Why are you good at what you do?: I never give up.

Greatest influence: Hard to pin down to one thing or one person, but my influences include Freud, Jung, Brent-Dyer, Woodman, Inanna.

Fantasy business partner: The people I've worked with for the long haul.

Biggest risk taken: Professionally, probably joining TMB - at a time when full service was the safe prospect.

Best job outside advertising: Baking cakes. I've got a particularly light hand with a sponge.

Favourite media: The Sunday Times; History Today; CSI Miami (guilty pleasure); Radio 4; Ocado.

Favourite gadget: Can I have the entire internet? Anyway, any gadget that I can access the web on.

Clubs: None.

Most-admired politician: Still living is Nelson Mandela. Uncompromising and courageous. Not many people really stand up for what they believe. From ancient times, it is Boudica, for similar reasons.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Hybrid car, no long-haul flights and I love to recycle.

Perfect day:

In or on the water.

Fictional hero: Buffy.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Sigourney Weaver (either as in Alien or Working Girl).

Hidden talent: Getting through locks (see above and below).

Most expensive purchase: 1967 Jupiter 30-foot boat.

Desert island objects: A library (especially including the full set of Nero Wolfe stories), E45, a boat.

Lowdown: The planning brains of MediaCom, Unerman makes sure that its ideas are fresh and saleable. She's more cultured than most at media agencies, but makes a point of trying to express herself in real world language rather than jargon.

V

VALLANCE, CHARLES

Job: Strategic planner.

Company: VCCP, Greencoat House, Francis Street, Victoria, London, SW1P 1DH.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7592 7402.

Born: Harrogate.

Career highlights: Being one of the founders of VCCP.

Why are you good at what you do?: Telling the truth (it's easier to remember).

Greatest influence: Homer Simpson.

Fantasy business partner: Jarvis Cocker.

Biggest risk taken: Riguez Dancer, Catterick, last week.

Best job outside advertising: Putting plugs on TVs.

Favourite media: Metro, Psychologies, Five Test highlights, LBC, GuardianUnlimited.

Favourite gadget: My O2 Cocoon.

Clubs: The Academy, MCC, MGC.

Most-admired politician: Michael Heseltine, haircut.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Grow trees and save energy.

Perfect day: Second day of the Lord's Test.

Fictional hero: Sergeant Wilson.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Basil Rathbone (or Basil Fawlty).

Hidden talent: All of them.

Most expensive purchase: Bedouin Blue.

Desert island objects: Lobster pot, fishing rod, a flinty white Burgundy.

Lowdown: VCCP is undoubtedly one of the most strategic agencies in town, and its reputation falls firmly on the gentrified Yorkshireman's intelligent shoulders. However, is his dominant hold on the agency also a reason for its consistent lack of stunning creative work?

VARLEY, CHARLIE

Job: Planning director.

Company: MediaVest Manchester, 117-119 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 6ED.

Work tel: +44 (0)161 299 3909.

Born: Yesterday.

Career highlights: Er... (is that short enough?).

Why are you good at what you do?: Shameless self-promotion.

Greatest influence: My personal trainer.

Fantasy business partner: Nick Leeson.

Biggest risk taken: Starting some rumour or other.

Best job outside advertising: Cleaning bird shit out of cuckoo clocks.

Favourite media: Watchtower, Carrott Country, When Lap Dancers Attack, Kerrang!, lovelylargeladies.com.

Favourite gadget: iPod toilet-roll holder.

Clubs: WeightWatchers.

Most-admired politician: Margaret Thatcher, on account of everything she did.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I've bought a Hummer.

Perfect day: Lunch with Jon Horrocks.

Fictional hero: Alasdair Ritchie.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Jon Horrocks.

Hidden talent: I can write a media plan.

Most expensive purchase: Factory-matched pair of shotguns.

Desert island objects: A helicopter, fuel, a pilot.

Lowdown: Varley's move up to Manchester seems to paying dividends for the agency since he was instrumental in its capture of the Barratt Homes and Magnet accounts. He defies regional stereotypes by remaining one of the most plugged in men in UK media.

VARLEY, MEL

Job: Chief executive officer, EMEA.

Company: Mediaedge:cia, 1 Paris Garden, London SE1 8NU.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 7803 2180.

Born: 4 November 1960.

Career highlights: 1993 to 1995, deputy media director, Leo Burnett Media UK; 1995 to 1997, media director for northern Europe, Starcom; 1997 to 2000, managing partner, CIA International; 2000 to 2002, chief planning and MediaLab officer, CIA Worldwide; 2002 to 2005, chief client officer, Mediaedge:cia EMEA; 2006 to date, chief executive officer, Mediaedge:cia EMEA.

Why are you good at what you do?: I'm passionate about what I do.

Greatest influence: Salvador Dali.

Fantasy business partner: Steve Jobs.

Biggest risk taken: Stopping a runaway car.

Best job outside advertising: Sainsbury's store location analyst.

Favourite media: Financial Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Grey's Anatomy, Classic FM, eBay.

Favourite gadget: BlackBerry.

Clubs: Bombay Bicycle Club.

Most-admired politician: Winston Churchill. Strength of leadership.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: Obsessively recycling.

Perfect day: At home, in and around Hampstead Heath.

Fictional hero: Paul Atreides (Dune by Frank Herbert).

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Madonna (I can't sing either).

Hidden talent: I can throw pots.

Most expensive purchase: Lucie Rie ceramics.

Desert island objects: Bizet's Carmen, Frank Herbert's Dune and my dog, Blue.

Lowdown: Varley, renowned as a challenging but fair operator, continues to lead her network towards more growth in Europe. She likes to spend time in Spain and loves running and swimming.

VICK, TOM

Job: Director.

Company: Freud Commu-nications, 19-21 Mortimer Street, London, W1T 3DX.

Work tel: +44 (0)20 3003 6601.

Born: At the end of the swinging 60s.

Career highlights: 1991, first worked in advertising (Ogilvy & Mather); 1992, first worked with David Muir; 1996, first worked with Martin Jones; 1998, first worked with Rory Sutherland; 1999, first worked with Dave Waters, Gary Duckworth, Ivan Pollard and Andy Tilley; 2000, first worked with Hugh Cameron; 2007, first worked with Freud.

Why are you good at what you do?: I let other people get on with their jobs.

Greatest influence: Fine red wine.

Fantasy business partner: Jean-Louis Chave. We'd set up a vineyard in the Languedoc and piss all over that Hegarty stuff.

Biggest risk taken: Joining an ad agency instead of becoming a diplomat. Messed up there, didn't I?

Best job outside advertising: Working in a record shop.

Favourite media: The Guardian, Elle Decor, Soccer AM, Radio Five Live, www.fgrfc.co.uk.

Favourite gadget: I'm trying to kick the gadget habit.

Clubs: The Hospital, Milk & Honey, Forest Green Rovers fanclub.

Most-admired politician: David Drew (Labour MP for Stroud and fellow FGR fan). Not afraid to be his own man and hater of the long-ball game.

How do you off-set your carbon footprint?: I don't. Off-setting is not the answer.

Perfect day: One that involves sleep, sun, sex and wine. I'm not choosy about what order they come in, though.

Fictional hero: Asterix.

Who should play you in the film of your life?: Ant or Dec (maybe both).

Hidden talent: Pedantry.

Most expensive purchase: A Jasper Morrison sofa.

Desert island objects: Sunscreen, sun-hat, shades.

Lowdown: It was a funny old year for Vick after DFGW was swallowed up by Matthew Freud's empire, plunging the former shop into a no-man's land. What now? Expedia rumbles on, but could "Let yourself go" be symptomatic of a wider sentiment? Adland, after all, hankers for Vick's client-facing skill and strategic talent.

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