Compiling a list is never the simple task you might think it is when you start putting it together. Creating one that is comprised of names that anybody in an industry should know proved an especially difficult one. It's not that we struggled to come up with the 100 names on MEDIA Magazine's list, so much as we had a hard time whittling it down from the hundreds more that could - and maybe should - have been on the list.
In the end, we opted to keep it to 100, but that doesn't mean these names are necessarily the most important in the world of media planning and buying, though some of them clearly are. They're just really important people - some whom you've undoubtedly never even heard of - that we think you should know. Some of them, like Group M's Irwin Gotlieb or Viacom's Mel Karmazin are incredibly powerful and have the ability to move the entire media marketplace almost single-handedly. But this list is not about the most powerful people. Others, like Carat's David Verklin or Starcom's Kate Lynch are doing innovative things that are transforming their organizations and, indirectly, the organizations of the people who compete or work with them. But this list is not about the most innovative people.
Still others are extremely influential people, like Procter & Gamble's Jim Stengel, or consultant Erwin Ephron, who can merely utter - or scribe - a few words and get an entire industry to think differently about itself. But this list is not about the most influential people.
It's about all of those kinds of people and many others who likely are not classifiable, but who in some small or great way have the ability to shape the world of the people who read MEDIA Magazine. In the end, you may call it an eclectic list. Indeed, there was no scientific rationale or methodology behind its selection. The only criteria was that we thought these were people you deserved to know something about.
As it happens, some of the people on this list that you likely have not heard of - like Magna Global's econometric modeling guru Brian Wieser, or Visible World founder Seth Haberman, are doing things now that will change the way you do business a year from now. Others, like Billetts' John Billett, SQAD's Larry Fried, Media IQ's Mike Lotito, or Starcom's Renetta McCann are doing things now that will change the way you do business during the next year.
Finally, some on this list - like OMD's Page Thompson, Turner's Barry Fischer, or professor John Philip Jones - are just really smart guys we thought you should know about.
When it comes to interactive media connections, he's strictly high-speed.
dir. of media futures innovation Johnson & Johnson
It may be his brand, but he's not developing band-aid approaches to media futures.
Johnson & Johnson
Driving advertiser-supported productions, and family-friendly, too.
vice president-advertising sales Google
Key word: Big. And getting bigger fast.
John Billett's auditing, performance monitoring, and market modeling services have transformed the U.K. media marketplace, and his new MPMA service - headed by P.J. Leary - promises to do the same. MPMA has an exclusive deal to utilize the real market cost data in SQAD's new NetCosts system (SQAD chief Neil Klar and consultant Erwin Ephron are also principals in MPMA) and is overlaying that with even more detailed market data from a burgeoning list of blue chips marketers.
Like Mike Lotito's Media IQ (see close-up in this report), MPMA applies this real market data to evaluating the performance of media buying shops and helps provide them direction. So far, agencies have been loath to embrace the process, but they may have no choice since MPMA works for their clients. Watch for the ownership of agency buying data to emerge as a major sticking point this year.
president-corporate business development
Starcom MediaVest Group.
He manages to make below-the-line seem sexy. And if he didn't actually coin it, he at least popularized the concept of media creativity.
executive director-media and marketing operations
The media muscle in Motown. GM still controls the second largest budget behind P&G.
Media research's ultimate insight-er, even if she is a bit of an insider.
director/team leader-media Pfizer
She's taken direct-to-consumer directly to the bank, making Pfizer a top 10 advertiser.
Keeping Interpublic one of the Big 3 in media buying with a goal of being No. 1.
SVP-dir. of channel acct. planning
A British ex-pat, she's applying the art of account planning to media.
director of U.S. media McDonald's Corporation
The gold behind the Golden Arches. If you're on her buy list, you're definitely Lovin' it.
Bringing outdoor inside - the mix.
Head of WPP's other media network. He may have the wrong accent, but he's got the "bravery" to get Mediaedge:cia a greater share of mind.
president-local broadcast group
She's putting EDI (electronic data interchange) on the spot.
Just when you thought ad trade bureaus had grown stale and moribund, along comes a guy with plans to turn the business on its head. Now if Sean Cunningham can get the CAB's highly political board of directors to go along, the cable industry will gain new ground on Madison Avenue.
Cunningham, who was executive vice president-managing director at Universal McCann before joining the CAB, is already shaking things up. One of his first acts was making the tough call to scrap the CAB's annual conference for 2004. The trade show, once a must-go-to event for media planners and buyers had grown tired, so Cunningham opted to take a breather.
His next move, hiring Initiative Media research chief Ira Sussman to run the CAB's research budget.
director of advertising
Crafting smarter media strategies.
dir. of relationship marketing
Master of the food category advertising universe.
dir. of advertising procurement
When the networks balked, Diageo walked and he created an unwired network to air its spirit ads.
SVP-chief research officer Nielsen Media Research
He is the smartest guy in media research (outside of an agency or a network). He's also Nielsen's best hope of making the transition to a clickstream, set-top ratings world.
EVP-dir. of national broadcast Carat
No longer the new kid on the block, eyes will be on him this upfront.
famous Brooklynite and advertising columnist
The New York Times
All the ad news that's fit to print.
consultant/expert on media planning, strategy and research
The guru, need we say more?
head of the media services practice
Morgan Anderson Associates Submitted for your review. A former media director, he now directs media account reviews.
The agency media boutique chief most likely to keep the big agency media chiefs up at night.
She assembled the most strategic and planning-oriented interactive media team in the business.
managing director for print and market convergence
If the newspaper medium has a maven, she's it.
Lauren Rich Fine
chief ad industry analyst
She's on two neighborhood watch groups: Wall Street's and Madison Avenue's.
Turner Broadcasting System
Fischer is the major broadcast networks' worst nightmare: a former top television buyer with an intimate knowledge of how the marketplace actually works and the wherewithal to use it.
Fischer, who handled buying for Procter & Gamble and Ford Motor Co., before joining Turner as head of sales marketing in 1996, has slowly and steadily been moving the needle for Turner by moving the ball from the broadcast networks to the cable industry.
How's he doing this? Through irrefutable research that capitalizes on the pressure most marketers and agencies are under to meet their rating point goals with limited advertising budgets. While Madison Avenue was well familiar with the erosion of network rating points, their media plans seemed stuck in some kind of stasis until Fischer's Millennium studies demonstrated how they could - and should - easily move budgets from broadcast to cable without losing any reach.
chief revenue officer
Fried, and his boss Neil Klar, have managed to do what Reuters and Dow Jones & Co. and even Enron each tried, but failed to do: create a Wall Street-like financial database of network TV advertising transactions based on real data and, more importantly, real costs. The system, NetCosts, is so good, it's better than the data the networks have themselves.
While the system, which goes live in April, has - not surprisingly - been met with resistance from the big agencies and networks, marketers have embraced it. They have provided enough proprietary TV ad cost data, that NetCosts is now based on more than 40 percent of all network advertising deals, a database rich enough to be representative and projectable. Who uses the system and how it is used could dramatically alter the network advertising marketplace, including upfront and scatter price negotiations.
Radio Advertising Bureau
Investing millions in research and marketing to get radio back in the mix.
managing director-chief investment officer
The reason for our consensus: the U.S. Census.
He deals with Donny and The Donald. He also may be the last of a kind: an old school media director at a major, full-service ad agency.
A media player, both in front and behind the scenes. And we're not just talking MSN, MSNBC or Windows. Think Comcast.
SVP-director of strategy and innovation
Vesting the future of media.
Kang & Lee Advertising
Because East is East and West is West, this Asian American media specialist is the one who's making the twain meet.
The main reason MindShare ran a close second for our 2003 Media Agency of the Year. That, and the $1 billion in new billings he picked up.
Of the Big 3 media buying networks - Interpublic's, Omnicom's, and WPP's - WPP's Group M is perhaps the most integrated and that's due largely to the clout and acumen of Irwin Gotlieb. The formation of GroupM, which oversees and coordinates the buying strategies of WPP's MindShare and Mediaedge:cia networks, is the fulfillment of Gotlieb's plan to amass all of WPP's buying clout into a single massive entity that can share market intelligence and influence the advertising marketplace.
Gotlieb, who joined WPP in 1996 after running D'Arcy's MediaVest unit (now part of Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group), oversaw the consolidation of the media departments of Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson into MindShare.
Billetts Connections When Andrew Green resigned as managing partner and director of the Communication Insights Group at OMD to join U.K.-based media auditor Billetts, it turned a lot of heads on Madison Avenue. After all, Green was regarded as one of the most powerful agency media directors and wielded tremendous influence over the industry. It also raised eyebrows, because some agencies feared that Green might use his insider knowledge of agency media operations against them.
Instead, Green is developing a new kind of media research operation that will create new, proprietary tools to give Billetts' marketing clients an edge in the media marketplace.
SVP-director of print media Zenith Media
Establishing a disciplined, TV-like approach to magazine ad negotiations.
director of media services
Sears, Roebuck and Co.
The leader in retail -or e-tail -media buying.
founder & president
Visible World For advertisers and agencies, interactive television has been a true paradox. While the ability to custom target advertising messages to individual TV viewers may ultimately prove more effective than traditional TV advertising, the cost of producing the many spots necessary to do that is still prohibitive, especially given the still emerging scale of interactive TV systems.
Haberman's Visible World wants to change that. The company, part digital TV ad distribution service, part digital production facility, part advertising creative department, works with advertisers and agencies to "version" conventional TV ads into a multitude of discretely targeted advertising pitches.
Most importantly, it's doing this at a fraction of the costs to make a typical 30-second TV spot.
VP-director of emerging contacts
Starcom MediaVest Group Because he's got the best contacts.
Tim Harris & PJ MacGregor
directors of the Play videogame development division of Starcom MediaVest Group
Aside from having the best job since L'il Abner, this dynamic duo is teaching marketers how to play the video game. With video gaming emerging as a big factor, especially among teen and young adult males, Play represents a new kind of marketing service for a major media shop. Part entertainment marketing, part media buying unit, the team keep an eye on new software and gaming platforms to see if there are natural tie-ins for brands.
chief marketing officer
A platinum card-carrying member, Hayes' team continues to surprise the media marketplace.
Even if he is the boss now, he's still a media guy who is can send entertainment vines creeping up and down Madison Avenue.
Pepsi-Cola North America.
The media strategy of a new generation.
Media Rating Council
Our favorite media mechanic. He's the guy poking around under the hoods of Nielsen, Arbitron, MRI, and others to make sure their engines are running on all cylinders.
EVP-director of print investment
Two words: print diva.
director of strategic insights
As a young Olympian, he competed against Mark Spitz, now he's swimming laps around the media research community.
John Philip Jones
professor Newhouse School
His research and collaborations with Erwin Ephron have revolutionized TV planning, now he's trying to do the same for print.
global media manager
Ford Motor Co.
Have you driven a Ford media plan, lately? All we have to say is one letter and three numbers: F150.
president and CEO
While many media company chiefs get involved in advertising sales strategies, few if any have been as involved with setting the overall sales agenda as Viacom's Mel Karmazin.
For right or wrong (mostly right), Karmazin has called CBS' upfront sales strategy each year since the Tiffany Network was acquired by Viacom. Combine that with the kid, teen, and young adult marketplace clout of MTV Networks and Karmazin is holding great sway over Madison Avenue. After two successive years of painfully strong upfront advertising marketplaces advertisers and agency executives will be watching Karmazin's moves this spring especially closely.
dir. of U.S. media/advertising Colgate-Palmolive Co.
Delivering the goods for packaged goods.
chairman and CEO
Getting America - and Madison Avenue - back online.
president and CEO
Newspaper National Network
If newspapers can ever be made a national medium, Klein will be the one to do it.
chairman and CEO
Starcom MediaVest Group
He runs the top worldwide media services company, but still manages to do it with Midwest aplomb and sensibility.
dir. of research and consumer context planning
In a world of media, she reminds us, it's all about the consumer.
Because most media opportunities are not priceless.
chairman and CEO
Charting a new constellation of media services with Starcom MediaVest and Zenith Optimedia.
president and CEO
Assoc. of National Advertisers
When John Sarsen retired after years of running the Association of National Advertisers, Bob Liodice was waiting in the wings. Following a brief stint as interim chief, Liodice was named permanent head of the association at one of the most critical junctures in its history.
During Sarsen's tenure, relations with Madison Avenue had grown chilly, the media marketplace had fragmented into a million bits and marketers were facing more challenges than ever before.
Liodice is rebuilding bridges with ad agencies and, like the organizations of his members, has embraced an ROI approach for the ANA.
president and CEO
Mike Lotito has always been someone to watch in the media business. Whether it was as a young media director at Ammirati & Puris, or as head of mega shop Initiative Media, Lotito always seemed destined to change the business. He got close to doing that in his last job.
As head of Mediaport, Lotito got the Big Three agency holding companies - Interpublic, Omnicom and WPP - to back an ambitious plan that would have created a new, state-of-the-art electronic trading system for the media marketplace. When Mediaport became a casualty of the advertising recession, Lotito turned his attention to media auditing and is considered in a neck-and-neck race with John Billett's Media Performance Monitor America, to develop the media auditing market for blue chip advertisers.
SVP-global research director
You can blame her for optimizers (in the U.S.) and just about anything else innovative in agency media research.
co-CEO/global buying officer
He's conquered the networks, now, as MediaCom's global buying officer, he's setting out to conquer the world.
president and CEO
Starcom North America
Even if she has the wrong last name, she still runs the shop that has been described as "the closest thing to the media agency of the future."
McCann, who joined Leo Burnett's media department in 1978, has watched and taken part of the agency's transformation. Now, as chair of the American Association of Advertising Agencies' Media Policy Committee, she's setting out to transform the industry. McCann, who came into that post with a mandate to shake things up, is doing just that. She's made media accountability the focal point of the AAAA committee's charter and is tackling incredibly sensitive issues like industry guidelines for media auditing.
Wenda Harris Millard
chief sales officer
Expanding the Web portal's portfolio.
If you're working at a media shop, or hoping to, O'Hare is recruiter you want to know.
EVP-chief marketing officer
Magazine Publishers of America
Making the best of tough times for magazine publishers. She's positioning the medium for its turnaround.
president and CEO
Ornelas & Partners
Lot's of reasons, mostly in Spanish.
Enquiring minds will want to know what this publishing vet will try next.
EVP-planning and research, CBS
Quite possibly the smartest guy in media research - outside of an ad agency, of course. He's so good, the press actually believe him when he spins Nielsen ratings data.
VP-global media and sports marketing
The brewmeister's mediameister.
Federal Communications Commission
Making the world safe for mega media companies (and from bare-breasted pop stars).
president and CEO
Omnicom Entertainment Enterprises
If content is king, Riesenberg will give Omnicom clients the keys to the kingdom.
president and CEO
(And someday, maybe Walt Disney Co.) Without or without the Magic Kingdom, Roberts has emerged as the media titan to watch.
You could say media planning is in Fernando Rodes' blood. Rodes' father is considered by many to be the father of media planning.
Now this Barcelona-based media conquistador is planning to transform Havas' burgeoning media network into one of the industry's biggest and most strategic. Exactly how he's doing that isn't clear since he rarely speaks publicly about it, but insiders say MPG's business model includes a heavy dose of proprietary research, as well as the exchange of best practices across media markets.
Havas management has set a goal of making MPG one of the top five media networks in the world over the next couple of years.
Brand New World
As the first "creative director" of a major media shop Alan Schulman was a name to know and a person to watch over the past year. Now, after stepping down from Universal McCann to form Brand New World, a media shop focused on the next generation of interactive media technologies, Schulman and partner Alan Feldenkris (former head of interactive marketing at America Online), has become a name to know because of what he'll be helping other people to watch: advertising on broadband video, new interactive TV, and wireless, mobile media platforms.
Schulman says he doesn't want to reinvent the advertising world, but will focus on ways of extending existing advertising campaigns - primarily TV ads - into new media that expand their reach and provide more interactivity and transactional components. "We call them transactional flashpoints," says Schulman.
And with marketers re-embracing interactive media, we call Brand New World no flash-in-the-pan.
If you're only going to have one client, it might as well be the biggest.
director of media
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Co.
Take two of Silverman's media plans and call us in the morning.
Omnicom Media Group
The chief architect behind PHD and OMD, this former P&G'er is working behind-the-scenes to keep Omnicom at the top of the media services game.
Unilever United States
Active in front and behind the scenes, Simmons is bringing the marketer's voice to the media marketplace.
EVP-dir. of global systems
Information systems don't get the recognition they deserve in most industries, media included. Universal recognizes this and that's why Smith is there.
Sir Martin Sorrell
chairman and CEO
Madison Avenue's chief media consolidator and the only royal knight on our list.
chief marketing officer, U.S.
Ernst & Young LLP
As you might expect from his company's stock-and-trade, Jim Speros is a leader in media accountability.
global marketing officer
Procter & Gamble Co.
With his marketing budget, buying media isn't exactly a gamble. His recent speech at the AAAA Conference might set the tone of media buying for the next ten years.
SVP-director of strategic print planning
Universally recognized as a strategic print planner.
president and CEO
Media Analysis Plus
Long a dean of media planning (he's got books to prove it), Surmanek's daring acquisition of media auditing pioneer Hawk Media, has put his fledgling MAP on the, well, map.
OMD North America
Page Thompson may not have actually invented art of communications planning, but he may have been the first to articulate it, in the U.S. anyway. Thompson's groundwork has been emulated by others.
His concept of personal media mapping, an approach that literally follows consumers around throughout their day to determine which media they use at which intervals to consume media content, has grown into a revolution in so-called consumer contact planning. He also coined the concept of "aperture," a term used to describe when a consumer's mindset is open to a particular advertising message.
president of advertising sales
Local cable advertising's billion dollar man. He's got the best inter-connections in the business.
founder and president
His broadband Internet play is transforming the Web into the television age. That's a good thing.
president and CEO
A media agency chief who keeps the other media agency chiefs up at night.
chairman and CEO
Wasserstein Perella & Co. and chairman of New York Magazine Holdings.
If he can make it with "New York Magazine," he can make it anywhere.
senior vice president
Clear Channel Advantage
Making sure out-of-home doesn't become out-of-sight, or out-of-mind.
VP-dir. of industry analysis
Magna Global USA
If you don't know the meaning of the word econometrics, then you probably don't know Brian Wieser.
But as director of industry analysis at Interpublic's Magna Global USA unit, Wieser is responsible for developing econometric models that will help Magna and its clients outthink and out-perform the rest of the advertising marketplace. While the position is not new - Wieser succeeds Andrew Sharp, who left Magna last year to join sister agency Universal McCann in a similar position - his background is relatively unique for a media buying unit.
He's a veteran