Trevor Robinson, OBE. Founder and exectutive creative director QuietStorm
Chairman: Camilla Harrisson.
The innovative techniques behind advertising have come to define generations. Over recent years, the internet has played a significant role in the future of advertising, completely reforming the way the industry functions and presenting new opportunities for brands. The Debrett’s list recognises those who have created, recognised and made use of new advertising opportunities and pushed the product, their company and the industry to the top of its game.
Camilla Harrisson has worked in advertising for 20 years, starting her career at WCRS before moving on to Wieden + Kennedy and then Leo Burnett. In 2005 she joined M&C Saatchi, initially as marketing director. Five years later she became COO of M&C Saatchi Group before being promoted to CEO of M&C Saatchi in 2013. Outside the agency, Camilla is an active member of WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications London) and was president of the Club during 2012-13.
Ajaz Ahmed. Founder and CEO AKQA.
The founder and CEO of AKQA, Ajaz Ahmed, was an early believer in the immense power of the internet and how it would sculpt the future of advertising. This instinct and vision has driven his success. Ahmed dropped out of his degree in business studies at the University of Bath as he felt that it was suppressing his entrepreneurial spirit. Instead, he launched his company at the age of 21 and promptly earned a reputation for his wisdom. Today, his company AKQA is one of the most-awarded digital advertising companies in the world.
Ben Bilboul. Group CEO Karmarama.
Ben Bilboul began his advertising career at Still Price Lintas with his work on the Peperami and the global Lync/Axe account. In 1998 he became St Luke’s first hiring where he headed up the IKEA account. Over the next five years, Bilboul ran the international HSBC account, the IKEA account and the agency’s digital division. He started up his own consultancy in 2000 where he continued working with clients such as IKEA. In 2003, the company merged with Karmarama where Bilboul is now responsible for managing the group. With its original and unique approach, the company is one of the leading creative independent agencies in the UK, with high-profile clients including the likes of Costa, BBC, B&Q, Honda and BT.
Ben Fennell. CEO BBH
Ben Fennell is the CEO of Bartle Bogle and Hegarty, one of Britain’s top advertising agencies with clients that include British Airways, Barclaycard and Robinsons. Fennell joined the company straight out of university, and BBH has expanded to encompass non-traditional advertising media including digial and branded content as well as broadening its board to include more creatives in his capable hands. He is also recognised as leading the company’s successful global Persil pitch. Fennell assumed the role of CEO in 2008, 14 years after joining the company as a graduate, and is leading the firm to the top of its game.
Charles Vallance. Founding partner VCCP
The founding partner of VCCP Charles Vallance began his life in advertising with an apprenticeship at Burkitt’s before embarking on careers at BBG and WCRS. VCCP was founded in 2002, embracing a significant founding client in O2. Since this time, Vallance has played an integral role in launching a broad variety of brands such as Orange, Sony, BMW, O2, Land Rover, Heineken and Dyson. He is also responsible for the commercial success of the iconic comparethemarket.com advertising campaign which pushed the website to 4th from 16th in insurance website ratings.
Cilla Snowball, CBE. Group chairman and group CEO AMV BBDO
As the group chairman and group CEO of AMV BBDO, the largest advertising agency in the UK, Cilla Snowball forms the meagre 21% of women leading advertising agencies today. She joined the company as their first new business director in 1992 and now supervises the companies that form AMV BBDO. Snowball is chair of the Advertising Association and was awarded the CBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours list for her services to advertising. On what inspired her professionally, she says “the big motivation for me was to work in a creative business. The inspiration, then and now, comes from applying that creativity commercially, with a bunch of brilliant clients and colleagues.”
David Jones. Global CEO Havas
Industry visionary David Jones is the youngest global network CEO in the history of the advertising industry. As the global CEO of Havas, Jones has defined himself as a strong advocate of social change and the importance of corporate responsibility. He was the driving force behind Kofi Annan’s TckTckTck Campaign for Climate Justice. This was one of the most effective cause campaigns in history with 18 million people signing up as “climate allies”. Jones has an exceptional transatlantic understanding of business which places him in a critical and crucial position of influence within the industry.
James Murphy.Co-founder and CEO Adam & Eve DDB
James Murphy is the CEO of Adam & Eve DDB, which is a clear force to be reckoned with in the industry. As one of the leading communications agencies in the industry, Adam & Eve is responsible for the now-legendary John Lewis Christmas adverts and also counts well-known names such as Phones 4 U, Gü, Marmite, Halifax and Google amongst its campaigns. Defined by their unique and interactive methods, the agency inspires extremely effective responses and communications to their work. Adam & Eve was bought by DDB in 2012 for £55 million, just four years after Murphy and his co-founders established it.
Jerry Buhlmann. CEO Aegis Media
Leading advertising executive Jerry Buhlmann is the CEO of Aegis Media. Buhlmann began his illustrious career with Young & Rubicam before transferring to WCRS. The agency he founded in 1989 was acquired by Aegis Media a decade later. In 2010, Buhlmann supervised the largest acquisition in the history of the company when Mitchell and Partners joined the agency. A year later, Buhlmann headed the transformational disposal of Synovate for £528 million, which transformed Aegis into the world’s leading media and digital communications focused specialist. Buhlmann was appointed CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network in 2013, which encompasses all of Aegis Media and Dentsu operations outside of Japan. In July 2013 Jerry became only the second non-Japanese executive officer of Dentsu Inc.
Jonathan Hornby. Founding partner CHI & Partners
The founding partner of Clemmow Hornby Inge & Partners began his career in advertising as a graduate trainee at Ogilvy & Mather before moving to CDP. After a mere three years at the company, Hornby was already responsible for large accounts such as Panasonic, the Early Learning Centre and Honda across Europe. When he moved to TBWA, Hornby supervised accounts such as The Big Issue, Apple and Virgin, and within only 18 months he became joint managing director. It was with TBWA that he ran the campaign that brought Labour to their second landslide victory in 2001. When he handed his resignation in a day later, he formed Clemmow Hornby Inge which 13 years on is considered to be a multi-faceted, full-service agency.
Jon Claydon. Chairman WorkClub
Jon Claydon was born in Farnborough, Kent, and attended Dulwich College before studying law at the University of Durham. He says he was a latecomer to advertising; he spent his early career in the City, before joining a university friend at his newly-launched advertising agency. Claydon is now the chairman and partner of the start-up firm Work Club, which he joined in 2007. The company’s clients include Heineken, Sony, Addidas and Coca-Cola.
Jonathan Trimble. CEO 18 Feet & Rising
Inspired by his mother, who left school at 16 and created a hugely successful business in spite of her humble working class beginnings, Jonathan Trimble is the CEO of 18 Feet & Rising. His awe and admiration of what she achieved has driven Trimble to his success. Growing up in the eighties, the story of Saatchi & Saatchi enthralled him and in 1994 he joined the company as a runner. Trimble went on to work for Young & Rubicam and Fallow before forming 18 Feet & Rising in 2010. The company is the UK's fastest growing independent agency, boasting accounts such at Selfridges, The National Trust, Nando's restaurants and Nationwide, the world's largest mutual bank.
Kevin Dundas. CEO Droga5
With more than 25 years of advertising experience behind him, the CEO of Droga5 Kevin Dundas is well placed in the industry. As a former chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, Dundas’s work with Droga and Studzinski resulted in a highly productive period that resulted in the company being recognised as Agency of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In his time at Droga5, Dunas has also spent three years as the managing partner and president of 180 Amsterday, leading them through an extreme period of fundamental growth and restructuring. When asked about his inspiration, he says “I am most fortunate the creative business, by design and necessity, is populated and fuelled by inspirational characters. The key to success is to engage with an unfair share of this talent and learn a little from each and every one of them.”
Lindsey Clay. CEO Thinkbox
“To say that neither of my parents loved their jobs was something of an understatement”, Lindsey Clay says. “The reluctance to find myself in a similar position was a strong motivator and they encouraged me to try and find something enjoyable and challenging for my own career.” She discovered advertising, and has progressed to become the CEO of Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK. Formerly the marketing director and then the first managing director of the company, Clay launched a number of marketing initiatives, such as the TV Planning Awards, and successful campaigns to promote the effectiveness of TV advertising. Formerly at J Walter Thompson, Clay gained vast experience working on accounts for the likes of HSBC and Kellogg’s.
Luke Taylor. CEO LBi London
Before assuming the position of global chief executive of DigitasLBi, Luke Taylor was the chief executive of LBi. Here he implemented a new global management team and installed a consistent and united service model across LBi’s international footprint. He also supervised the various significant acquisitions and mergers including LBi’s recent acquisition by Publicis Groupe and merger with Digitas to form DigitasLBi. In July 2013, Taylor was awarded as one of five new inductees into the BIMA Digital Hall of Fame where he joins the likes of Martha Lane-Fox and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Sir Martin Sorrell. CEO WPP Group
Sir Martin Sorrell is one of the most widely respected men in the advertising industry and is a well-repeated authority. Sorrell chaired Media.NYC.2020 on behalf of the Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, which reviewed the future of the global media industry, and many observers in the advertising world credit Sorrell with the fact that the UK’s communications industry is still so independent and animated. Having joined WPP back in the eighties as a director, he became the group chief executive in the same year of one of the leading marketing and advertising companies in the world. He cites is father as his inspiration.
Nils Leonard. Executive creative director Grey London
Nils Leonard is the executive creative director of Grey London, leading the agency’s creative output through its most successful and awarded years. Since 2007 when Leonard joined Grey, his contributions on the likes of the hit advert ‘Louder’ for Lucozade and the globally-recognised ‘Spacechair’ for Toshiba has helped to transform Grey into one of Europe’s most advanced and in-demand agencies. Leonard has worked with a wide assortment of clients from record labels to famous fashion houses and with some of the most prominent agencies in London. Grey London won 29 major awards and came top three in Agency and Campaign of the Year in 2012 alone.
Robert Saville. Partner and executive creative director Mother
With all the usual big industry firms gracing his CV – Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, GGT and Abbot Mead Vickers – in 1996 Robert Saville co-founded the ad agency Mother, beginning work on the marketing campaign for the Channel 5 launch. The company is also credited with the ITV Digital Monkey and the Orange Film Boards ads, with Coca-Cola, Stella Artois, Pimms and IKEA also on its client list. Cult ads such as Pimms o’clock and Boot’s’ Here Come the Girls advert have helped to define Mother, which is now one of the largest independent advertising agencies in London.
Stephen Allan. Global CEO MediaCom
It was in 2008 that Stephen Allan was appointed as MediaCom Worldwide's chairman and CEO. Throughout his tenure at one of the world’s leading media agencies, Allen has quadrupled the firm’s billings to become the first UK £1 billion media agency. In doing so, he launched the agency's ranking from sixth to first position. Also receiving the accolade of Media Agency of the Year, Allen has been voted Campaign Media Achiever of the Year. At the 2013 M&M Global Awards, the company was named Agency Network of the Year for the fourth time in five years.
Trevor Beattie. Founding partner Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Trevor Beattie is the founding partner of Beattie McGuinness Bungay. Boasting a bevy of household names on the company’s reputable client list such as Pretty Polly, Carling and Selfridges, Beattie first made his name with the “Hello boys” campaign for Wonderbra two decades ago. Born to working-class parents and one of eight children, Beattie was the first member of his family to embark on higher education, studying graphic design and photography at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. Today, he is one of the most influential executives in the industry making a meteoric rise through the ranks with his vision.
Trevor Robinson, OBE. Founder and executive creative director QuietStorm
The energetic executive creative director of QuietStorm Trevor Robinson established the company in 1995, creating the UK’s first joint creative agency and production agency. Robinson says that his choice of profession was a “fear of ending up doing what everyone else was doing”. He was about 13 when he decided he was going to so do something creative. His careers adviser felt his ambition was “shooting too far out” and suggested getting a job on the buses. Today, his company’s impressive client list includes MTV as well as campaigns for the Mayoral conferences for the Greater London Authority. In 2007 Robinson founded Create Not Hate, a project targeting young people who may never otherwise be exposed to the creative industries due to their background.