10 Rian Shah
Managing director, Zenith UK Hub
Shah, who returned to Zenith last year from OMD, is one of a rare breed of agency leaders "who is properly strategic but also gets data and tech and how it applies to planning" for an "end to end" solution, according to Publicis colleagues. In his UK Hub role, the former strategy director looks after global, regional and local clients.
9 Sally Weavers and Jen Smith
Partners, Craft Media
These two ex-agency network executives have built a comms strategy boutique shop "putting the media craft back at the heart of comms plans". Their agile model suits on-site working and co-locating. In their first year, they’ve worked for brands such as Which? and Nike.
8 Richard Shotton
The author of The Choice Factory has set up his own consultancy, Astroten, named after a psychology experiment, while keeping a part-time role as head of behavioural science at Manning Gottlieb OMD. Shotton, a former Zenith planner, is an original thinker who draws on history to explain macro-trends in media behaviour.
7 Jed Hallam
Chief strategy officer, Initiative UK
This ex-Mindshare strategist is part of a new management team at Initiative that has been winning UK business such as LV=, to add to recent global wins such as Lego and Carlsberg. Hallam is responsible for insights and analytics as well as product and strategy.
6 Vicky Fox
Head of cross media planning, OMD UK
Fox’s job title, abbreviated to head of XMD, reflects the fact that OMD’s clients, such as Lidl, McDonald’s and Barclays, need smarter planning to cope with a more fragmented, multichannel customer journey. A former Thinkbox planner, she sits on Omnicom Media Group’s transformation board.
5 Simeon Adams
Creative partner, Goodstuff Communications
A wisecracking front man whose team of enthusiastic, young planners has been working with clients ranging from ITV to Hiscox. Adams also dishes out the jokes at the Goodstuff Media Showcase, the independent agency’s annual presentation of media-owner ideas to creative agencies.
4 Sam D’Amato
Chief product officer, Omnicom Media Group
D’Amato is a good listener who is always on the hunt for new ideas and has an open mind. The former chief strategy officer of M2M "will often see things, ideas, strategies or ways of working that are unconsciously ignored by others", one media owner says. "He is also not afraid to go where others fear to tread."
3 Clare Peters
Chief strategy officer, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Peters is a no-nonsense thinker who can claim credit for the agency’s excellent showing at this year’s Media Week Awards and beyond, thanks to innovative work for Virgin Trains, Starbucks and Age UK. An integrated, joint approach for John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners’ Christmas campaigns, in partnership with ITV, broke fresh media ground and smashed online viewing records.
2 Steve Gladdis
Chief strategy officer, MediaCom
Gladdis leads a planning team that has produced some acclaimed work, including Tesco’s "Food love stories", which won the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions, and Cancer Research UK’s "Live from inside the human body", which was recognised at the Campaign Media Awards. Managing partner Geoff de Burca also stands out on MediaCom’s strong bench of planning talent.
1 Mike Florence
Chief strategy officer, PHD
Florence leads the pack in the eyes of both agency and media-owner leaders. This year he appointed joint heads of planning to handle brand and performance, respectively, in recognition of the changing needs of different clients. "Smart, straight-talking, thinks very creatively and is able to distil ideas down so they can be understood and ultimately executed," one sales chief said of Florence, having heard him wow Magnetic’s Spark conference.