1. James Murphy
Adam & Eve/DDB has rattled a few cages at awards ceremonies this year – indicative of the galvanising effect Murphy and his team are having on what had looked a rather out-of-sorts DDB before its Omnicom parent brought Adam & Eve into the fold. Murphy combines a laid-back persona with a highly focused attitude to management and relentless networking. The merged agency is clearly reaping the benefits.
2. Ian Pearman
Pearman has often been a contradictory character. Hard partying combined with an immense capacity for hard work. Always held in high regard at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO but with a lower profile outside it. The latter has begun to change as his chairmanship of Nabs has helped give him a more visible presence on the industry circuit. What hasn’t changed is Pearman’s agile mind.
3. Ben Fennell
Fennell looks increasingly like a man whose time has come. Having joined Bartle Bogle Hegarty straight from university, he is a prime example of how good the place is at identifying and nurturing its future leaders. Today, he has charge of an agency with a creative output among the best in the world and a 70 per cent pitch-conversion rate. And with Sir Nigel Bogle and Sir John Hegarty set to step back soon, Fennell can truly be his own man.
4. Annette King
Aspiring female adlanders looking to smash through the glass ceiling won’t find a more inspirational figure than King. A great team-builder and new-business go-getter, she has proved herself a smart and dynamic leader of OgilvyOne. So much so that the agency was Campaign’s Direct Agency of the Year for three successive years, winning a slew of new clients and Cannes Lions in the process. Promotion to the top job of running OgilvyOne in Europe, as well as a seat on the network’s worldwide board, are her just rewards.
5. Johnny Hornby
Adland’s favourite playboy is less of a suit these days – having moved on to a group role – and more of an entrepreneur/businessman. But the previous TBWA suit and founder of CHI & Partners is one of the few true legends of British advertising’s younger generation. Hornby is unrivalled in his charm and his networking, but clients and colleagues are also aware of his understated intellect. Meanwhile at CHI, the equally charming – and more down-to-earth – Sarah Golding will surely usurp Hornby as the ad agency’s bona fide "suit" in 2014.
6. Tom Bazeley
Bazeley’s Lean Mean Fighting Machine has become an unconventional and refreshing addition to the agency scene since he and three friends from Tribal DDB set up the shop as the antidote to their frustration at the suffocating restrictions of a global network. Bazeley says their intent remains as it was then – to push the bounds of creativity and innovation in digital advertising, and to have some fun while doing so. The increase in clients and staff numbers suggests that the formula is working.
7. Paul Lawson
Lawson does not fit the conventional image of a big agency chief executive. Free-spirited and potty-mouthed, he is no identikit senior manager. Yet his style seems to rub off well on Leo Burnett, which remains on an upward trajectory and can look forward to further revenue growth as a result of its integrated group approach. If only he can get the agency to broaden its creative excellence across a wider range of clients, it really will be sitting pretty.
8. Lisa Thomas
Thomas has had a lot to do with changing the long-standing perception of M&C Saatchi as something of a "boys’ club". Held in high esteem by the agency’s founding partners, she has tackled what some thought would be the near-impossible task of pulling together the disparate parts of the group into a coherent whole with energy and determination.
9. Jackie Stevenson
Having helped launch The Brooklyn Brothers into the teeth of a howling economic storm, Stevenson has the satisfaction of fronting an agency that has become one of the most interesting in town. Regarded as one of the few new breed of shops that manages to handle the marketing and PR disciplines seamlessly, the agency could do with getting to grips with some bigger assignments. This year’s capture of TK Maxx’s European creative account is a step in the right direction.
10. Neil Christie
Never somebody to hog the limelight, the Wieden & Kennedy managing director has been content to let his agency’s work do the talking for him. In that respect, the agency has had quite a lot to say for itself, having managed to sustain a high level of creative output for Honda and turned advertising for a prosaic product such as Lurpak into a Cannes award-winner. It remains to be seen how much the £110 million Tesco account proves to be a game-changer for Christie and the agency.