10 PEOPLE OF THE YEAR
1 Chris Jaques, CEO of Y&R North America Clearly, there are benefits to negotiating your next job on the front page of Media. Perhaps it was the striking headshot in our June issue, but three months after Jaques resigned amid predictions that his career at Y&R was over, he was sensationally appointed CEO of North America. The move marked a reunion with former subordinate Hamish McLennan, now ensconced as the agency's global chief in New York, and was promptly followed by Jaques snaring JWT's Ambar Brahmachary to succeed him in the region. Asia's loss looks like North America's gain.
2 Yan Gang, chairman of Citic Guoan He wasn't the first public Sorrell-basher, but jaws still dropped around the world when Yan Gang told reporters that Sir Martin Sorrell "had absolutely no manners, no upbringing and no culture", after abruptly terminating a 14-year partnership between Citic and WPP's Grey ad network, and siding with archrival Omnicom. Yan isn't the first former WPP partner to publicly condemn the 'small big man', but he took up the cause in Asia with gusto.
3 Jureeporn 'Judee' Thaidumrong, founder and ECD of JEH United The soft-spoken ad veteran, dubbed the 'Power Puff Girl' by former colleagues, single-handedly demonstrated Thailand's impossible-to-ignore creative power to the world, yet again - this time with commercials for Smooth E Foam. Rejuvenating the category with an overdue injection of wry Thai humour, the spots wowed judges from across the globe.
4 Abdul Rahman, CEO of Media Prima In 12 months, the CEO of Malaysia's largest media conglomerate has virtually reinvented free-to-air TV in the country. He relaunched TV9 to focus on the fast growing semi-urban Malay target - arguably the region's most visionary media relaunch of the year - and also revamped flagship channel TV3. He also overhauled the venerable but ailing Malay Mail as a brash young read, launched two radio stations to tap new niches and just this month bulked up his outdoor portfolio with three major buys. Media can't wait to see what he'll add to his credentials next year.
5 Prasoon Joshi, ECD of McCann-Erickson India and Southeast Asia You've got to be really good to make it both inside and outside of the agency, and the hands-on ECD - affectionately known as 'India's ad guru' - is easily that. Joshi didn't slow down after working his magic on McCann's celebrated opus for Happydent, spectacular proof of how soaring sales can be the reward for world class creativity; he also penned the lyrics for chartbusting Indian movie, Rang De Basanti, recently selected as India's official entry for both the Golden Globes and the Oscars.
6 Les Buckley, group commercial director of Asia Pacific Breweries The renowned author has been kept busy by his flagship brand, Tiger. Not content with calling a regional review of the beer's positioning, Buckley kept things lively with a local retainer pitch soon after. Trigger-happy behaviour aside, Buckley signed off on a multi-million dollar TV campaign, easily Tiger's most expensive outing to date, while a hefty local marketing budget saw Tiger become one of the earliest adopters of unconventional media.
7 Erik Vervroegen, ECD of TBWA\ Paris Dubbed the 'rock pornstar' of this year's Spikes conference, Vervroegen's celebrity appeal made the 29-year old Frenchman the only speaker who could draw a ballroom full of guests away from the sun and surf. His stellar work for campaigns such as PlayStation and last year's Cannes-winning HIV message did a lot of the talking, while the fans and groupies - Media included - hung onto every word.
8 Manuel Quiogue, marketing director of GMA Networks Manuel Quiogue - Meckoy to his friends - was the name guaranteed to elicit an opinion out of just about anyone in the Philippines' ad industry this year, whether they loved him or just loved to loathe him. The marketing director of the archipelago's most powerful metro broadcaster spooked agencies with a tantalising offer to advertisers - a budget-friendly package bundling together media space and creative chores, dubbed 'Weapons of Mass Attraction'. Several sources have confided to Media however, that the industry's self-reflection Meckoy provoked was long overdue.
9 Michael Birkin, Asia-Pacific CEO and chairman of Omnicom Numerous trips to India earned Birkin something of a rockstar status among the local business press, but the group's India strategy remains the subject of much debate after Birkin spent the whole year fending off questions about Omnicom's plans. There were some deceptively encouraging signs last year - the hire of Keki Dadiseth, and the acquisition of Gotocustomer - but Birkin's high-profile tours across the subcontinent seem to be far from over.
10 Mr Brown, political satirist, blogger and former Today columnist The cult Singapore blogger, who used to pen a weekly column poking fun at his country's idiosyncrasies for freesheet Today, was ousted in July for publishing what the authorities deemed a sarcastic critique of recent legislation. The sudden dismissal immediately became the topic du jour on radio stations, blogs and breakfast tables. Media heard that in another life, Mr Brown - aka Lee Kim Mun - was a local adman, which may explain everything.