Talent and youth are a potent combination and the marketers featured on the following pages have both in abundance. With CVs likely to induce nervous glances from those above them, these natural leaders are rapidly ascending to the top of the career ladder.
For now, these are the rising stars in the UK's marketing departments, but within the next 10 years they will no doubt be the ones calling the shots in the industry.
These 50 individuals possess many similarities beyond their youthful exuberance. Most have an excellent academic record at degree level and were welcomed onto a graduate training programme at one of the big brand-owning companies.
During the initial stage of their careers, they pulled ahead of their peer group, displaying maturity and skill beyond their years. From there, they are likely to have been headhunted for a senior post at a rival company and will have had overall responsibility for at least one standout marketing campaign.
There are exceptions, however. A handful have showcased their talents in the agency world before switching to client marketing. Others started their career in another division of business before it became clear their abilities were suited to mapping marketing strategy.
Loyalty is another common denominator; most have left a company only when offered a job it would be difficult to turn down. This supports the view that firms are becoming better at recognising young marketing talent and giving them reason to stay put.
Regardless of their backgrounds, it is the energy and drive shown by these marketers that has brought them to prominence in the eyes of their colleagues and the wider industry.
Encouragingly, women account for half those on the list, indicating that they are now being handed the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
If some of the names on this list are not immediately familiar, they are certain to become so within the next few years. Armed with big-brand experience, innovative thought and an ability to deliver bottom-line growth, these marketers are the ones to watch.
ESTELLE ALTY - MILKYBAR (NESTLE)
A product of Nestle's graduate programme, Alty rose to prominence when named Young Marketer of the Year at The Marketing Society Awards for her contribution to the development of an Easter range across a variety of confectionery brands. Achieving this accolade is made more remarkable by the fact that she is still at such an early stage in her marketing career. Nestle swiftly rewarded her with promotion to the role of brand manager for Milkybar.
ANNA FORD - MAGNUM (UNILEVER)
A rising star in Unilever's Ice Cream & Frozen Food division, Ford's recent promotion to brand manager on Magnum has been just reward for an impressive start to her marketing career. Her forward-thinking approach in shaping the strategy for Wall's children's frozen-food range saw her earmarked for the fast track through Unilever's ranks.
JAMES POLLOCK - FLASH (PROCTER & GAMBLE)
During four years at Procter & Gamble, Pollock has worked on some of its biggest brands. Having completed an initial 18-month stint on Sunny Delight, Pollock was then entrusted with core P&G brands such as Lenor and Bold, with the latter reporting a 16% year-on-year sales rise during his tenure, according to TNS. His achievements have seen the Cambridge graduate transferred to P&G's Geneva office as brand manager for Flash.
LARA SAMUELS - COI
Samuels is described by colleagues as 'authoritative beyond her years'. Starting out as an agency account handler at Bates UK, Samuels moved to the client side when she joined the COI in 2002. Since then, her most noticeable work has been on the Department of Health's high-profile tobacco information campaign. She was recently seconded to the COI's strategic consultancy unit.
ROB BREARE - PAMPERS (PROCTER & GAMBLE)
The world of nappies may not sound like the ideal place to build a reputation, but Breare has made enough of a mark there to earn the respect of those within and outside P&G. Breare began his P&G career as an assistant brand manager on Fairy Liquid. This was followed by promotion to flagship brand Pampers, and by the beginning of 2004, he had risen to become its brand manager for Western Europe.
AMY CLOSE - NISSAN
It is rare to find a female automotive marketer who has achieved as much as Close so early in their career. Having acquired a grounding in marketing while on a work placement in the competitive environment of Marks & Spencer's foods marketing department, Close joined Nissan after graduating. Within six months, she was promoted to events manager. Her work on the Birmingham Motor Show last year was so successful she now handles all sales promotion activity for the brand as advertising and promotions manager.
CATHERINE FRANKCOM - SONY ERICSSON
Gutsy and creatively strong, Frankcom's abilities are such that she has already been headhunted twice for leading marketing posts. A graduate of British Airways' training programme, she was snapped up by Sainsbury's as category development manager. Two years later, Sony Ericsson hired Frankcom as its UK & Ireland marketing manager. During her time at the company, its market share has risen to 12.2%.
DOMINIC GROUNSELL - BT BROADBAND
Grounsell has scooped more awards in his comparatively brief career than most marketers do in a lifetime. During five years at Unilever, working across Surf, Lux and Dove, he was recognised for a number of eye-catching campaigns, picking up Unilever's 2004 Marketer of the Year award. Word soon spread and it was no surprise when earlier this year he climbed another rung, moving to BT Broadband in the role of senior marketing manager.
PETER HARBOUR - PG TIPS (UNILEVER)
Harbour's rise at Unilever is testament to his ability to handle diverse marketing projects. Starting in the household goods department as assistant brand manager on Domestos, Harbour switched divisions to work on Bertolli margarine. His innovative 'al fresco' campaign for the brand led to a move to PG Tips as senior brand manager. Next year he faces his toughest challenge so far as he puts into place plans to celebrate the brand's 75th anniversary.
ZOE HAYWARD - PERSIL (UNILEVER)
Another protege striding up the ranks of Unilever, Hayward's involvement in the landmark 'Dirt is Good' campaign for Persil has put her firmly on the map. She was noticed by the Unilever hierarchy while working in the food solutions division, and was switched to Persil as brand executive, where her work on its Comic Relief campaign this year brought her to the attention of the wider marketing industry.
THRYTH JARVIS - CRAVENDALE (ARLA FOODS)
Not many marketers handle an annual budget of almost £12m by the time they are 27. Jarvis' achievement is amplified by the fact that she has been senior brand manager at Cravendale for less than a year. Having started her career at Sainsbury's, she spent three years at Wyeth Consumer Healthcare before becoming brand manager for Weight Watchers.
BARRY MOORE - ADIDAS
In five years at Adidas, Moore has become a lynchpin of its UK marketing team. Last year he was promoted to senior marketing communications manager for team sports, with a remit for football and rugby. Working regularly with England stars and Adidas endorsees David Beckham and Frank Lampard has not fazed Moore, who once worked for a spell as a goalkeeping coach at Newcastle United.
RHIAN PHILLIPS - BARCLAYS
Phillips' resume shows what a solid background in marketing qualifications can achieve. With a host of marketing certificates under her belt, and nominated for the Marketing Society Young Marketer of the Year award in 2004, she is now responsible for the design and delivery of the UK marketing plan for Barclays Private Bank as senior marketing manager.
SHONA THIND - HAAGEN-DAZS (GENERAL MILLS)
Respected by agencies and clients alike, Thind works on one of the FMCG industry's most creatively-led brands. Her rise to the role of senior brand manager for the ice-cream brand came via Nestle, which she joined as a graduate trainee and where she picked up an innovation award for a yoghurt launch.
ADAM BOITA - SONY PLAYSTATION
An industry favourite, Sony PlayStation product manager Boita is regarded by many outside Sony as being on the firm's fast-track list, following his eye-catching work on recent PlayStation ad campaigns, which picked up a D&AD Silver nomination this year. Should this winter's 'Fire it Up' campaign succeed, expect a further promotion to follow.
IAN CRICHTON - BIRDS EYE (UNILEVER)
Crichton's role as senior brand activation manager for Birds Eye, where he is currently involved in the 'Fight for Real Food' campaign, is testament to the faith Unilever has in his abilities to create a clear strategy in the challenging frozen-food sector. He also gleaned valuable experience during his time at Nestle Purina, where he helped the Felix brand gain market leadership.
VICKI FRANKS - SURE, IMPULSE (UNILEVER)
Franks sprang into the limelight as senior brand manager on the launch of Sure for Men - a project she turned around in three months, from idea to shelf. This ability to perform under immense time pressure has singled her out from her contemporaries. Prior to working on Sure for Men she was European brand manager on Coral, responsible for the regional relaunch of the detergent brand.
CLAIRE MCKENNA - GARNIER (L'OREAL)
L'Oreal is a complex business and Garnier senior product manager McKenna's ability to get things done has made those around her take notice. Having moved from the branding team at Boots to join Garnier three years ago, she began work on the Ambre Solaire suncare brand. Her success in the launch of Garnier's anti-cellulite rollerball product has seen her move up the business, most recently working on the launch of Nutritionist skincare.
ABI ROBBINS - TESCO
Any marketer on the rise at Tesco clearly has something special to offer. The fact that the supermarket tasked Robbins with handling the pivotal 'Sports for Schools and Clubs' campaign, which launched this year, confirms Robbins' importance. The customer plan project manager has been at Tesco for three years, during which time she has steadily increased her influence and remit from her initial role as a marketing manager in the trade planning division.
JO MASSEY - TESCO
Advertising manager Massey can take a lot of credit for expanding the Tesco proposition so effectively beyond its core food offering. A product of the firm's graduate programme, she is evidence of Tesco's dedication to promoting from within. Massey spent five years in the marketing team of the non-food division, working across various product categories, before moving to Tesco's ad team two years ago.
BRYONY MORTON - DIAGEO
Morton's early career began as a direct marketing account manager at Brahm Integrated Marketing, and her direct roots have been put to good use by Diageo in her four-year spell at the drinks giant. As senior relationship marketing manager, she works across several brands, and it is her grasp of the intricacies of each that marks her out.
JAMES ASHFORD - MORETH>N
The finance sector is renowned for the lengthy apprenticeship that marketers generally have to undergo before rising to pivotal positions, so the fact that Ashford has become MoreTh>n's brand and advertising consultant by the age of 30 is a great achievement. A graduate trainee with Royal & SunAlliance, Ashford oversaw MoreTh>n's flagship 'Lucky Prize Draw' campaign.
ADAM COLLINS - NIKE
As brand communications manager at Nike, Collins holds a crucial role as it gears up for next year's World Cup. Such faith in his abilities does not look misplaced; Collins' career is littered with sports marketing achievements. Formerly an agency account manager at Leagas Delaney and Leo Burnett, he has also worked on Adidas and McDonald's.
DEAN KEELING - FABRIC CARE BRANDS (P&G)
Keeling's seven-year career at Procter & Gamble has seen him work on the bulk of the firm's flagship laundry products, including Bold 2in1 and Febreze. Having spent much of his P&G career at its Geneva office, his return to the UK in mid-2002 saw him take up the senior post of UK & Ireland brand manager for fabric care, overseeing marketing activity across a number of core brands.
DEREK LUDDAM - AOL
Luddam is lauded by his peers as a man with a 'complete grasp of media communications'. It is not surprising, therefore, that for the past two-and-a-half years Luddam has held the role of UK marketing manager for AOL. His career began on the agency side in the online division of PHD IQ, before moving to O2 as brand performance manager.
MICKEY O'BRIEN - EBAY
eBay has arguably been one of the most successful brands of the past few years, and O'Brien's role in its prodigious growth should not be underestimated. As senior manager of consumer and brand development, she oversaw eBay's first TV ad campaign. Her grounding at blue-chip companies including L'Oreal and Kellogg has stood her in good stead.
KATIE QUINTON - UNILEVER
Few marketers reach the heady heights of global brand development manager by the age of 30. Quinton's work on Unilever brands Bertolli and Flora, where she launched pro.activ milk drinks and yoghurts, saw her prove her ability to take on a global role. Quinton now oversees the development of Unilever's 'Vitality' brand mission statement.
ADAM ROSTOM - INNOCENT
During his two-and-a-half years as marketing manager at Innocent, Rostom has driven the rapid growth of the drinks brand. He was behind the recent 'Supergran' sales promotion project, which claimed several national and European awards. Having built his marketing skills in the Middle East with Unilever, Rostom's current focus is on building penetration of Innocent's smoothies.
HARRIET SIMS - HAIRCARE BRANDS (P&G)
Like most marketers climbing the P&G ladder, Sims' career includes spells in the UK and Geneva offices. Currently UK brand manager for haircare, covering Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences and Wash&Go, Sims' background is in beauty products, having worked on Clearasil and Olay.
AILSA TILEY - ROBINSONS (BRITVIC)
Tiley has been described as possessing an 'excellent balance between the creative and business skill sets', a combination honed as a graduate trainee at Kimberly-Clark. Having worked at its French and European headquarters, Tiley moved to the UK as senior brand manager on Andrex, where she oversaw a £3m relaunch. Switching to Britvic as a senior brand manager in September last year, she has been key to Robinsons' new product development, in particular the growth of Fruit Shoot.
JANE WALKER - KFC
Walker's time at KFC, following a switch from the agency side at Publicis, has already proved fruitful. Since joining the chain in August last year, she has been promoted to senior brand manager. Her responsibilities include new product development, advertising and media. She has a £25m budget.
TRACY BLACHER - CHANNEL 4
Blacher has been the top marketer at Microsoft and in Channel 4's new media department. Her career began in the press and publicity departments of Five before a first spell in the marketing team at Channel 4. Having joined Microsoft, she was promoted to head of marketing after just three years. Among the campaigns she worked on while there was the biggest webcast to date - 'Madonna Live on the Internet'.
VICKY COJEEN - RYVITA
Innovations manager Cojeen has played a pivotal role in Ryvita's new product development strategy. Her standout campaign was last year's launch of Ryvita Minis, which fuelled an 80% uplift in sales against unadvertised areas. Cojeen has helped turn around the fortunes of a brand previously in decline, with sales of £30m a year and 1.5m customers.
ANNA JONES - HACHETTE FILIPACCHI
Jones was brought in by Hachette Filipacchi as head of marketing (women's titles) earlier this year to oversee its high-profile first UK launch, Psychologies. A quick look at her CV shows why she was perfect for the job. Moving through the ranks at Emap, where she began as group product manager on youth and young women's magazines, Jones was promoted to its more adult women's titles. The feather in her cap has been the launch of Grazia.
RICHARD LARCOMBE - NEWS INTERNATIONAL
Larcombe's promotion this year to the post of communications and strategy marketing manager reflects the faith News International has shown in him. Plucked from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO early last year, Larcombe's work on The Times and The Sunday Times has justified the publisher's decision to take him on. His agency-side career also included a role at Grey overseeing Mars and Lee Jeans.
GREG NUGENT - EUROSTAR
Nugent is one of those rare marketers who can marry creativity with commercial reality. His career began at Weetabix, where he developed the award-winning 'Withabix, Withoutabix' campaign. He moved to GlaxoSmithKline, before joining Eurostar in 2003. With its latest rail link set to open 2007, Nugent has taken the brand back onto TV and reworked its creative and product strategy as Eurostar's marketing director.
NATASHA PAYNE - WANADOO
Payne learned the marketing ropes at Baxi, a heating appliances manufacturer, before moving into the telecoms sector at Your Communications. After joining Wanadoo as marketing communications manager in March 2003, she has overseen the brand's UK launch and its drive to increase broadband penetration. She controls a £20m budget.
JAMES PENNEFATHER - SMIRNOFF (DIAGEO)
After two years as a strategic analyst, Pennefather entered the drinks industry in 1999 as business strategy manager at Diageo. His career at the group has included a spell as senior innovation manager, where he launched Baileys Minis, before moving onto Smirnoff, first as marketing manager and now as brand director.
KATIE VANNECK - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
The Daily Telegraph's main challenge is appealing to younger readers; at 31, Vanneck is well-placed to tap into the market. A rising star in the newspaper business, she joined the Telegraph Group as marketing director eight months ago from News International, where she was promotions director. Her plans for the group include securing brand partnerships and overhauling its product strategy.
ANDREW WADDEL - STELLA ARTOIS (INBEV)
Waddel has worked for InBev since 2001, when he joined the Stella Artois team as brand manager. He was promoted to marketing manager for Castlemaine XXXX and oversaw a brand relaunch. After a stint on Beck's, he returned to Stella Artois as marketing manager, taking on the challenge of handling the UK's bestselling premium beer.
JUSTIN BILLINGSLEY - COCA-COLA
Billingsley moved to Coca-Cola eight years ago, following five years at Unilever. Since then, he has worked across the world, including a spell at the company's Atlanta headquarters. As brand director for Coca-Cola and Diet Coke in the UK, he has a broad remit that covers everything from creative work to brand experience platforms in music, fashion and sport.
FIONA CHINN - FIRST DRINKS BRANDS
As director of marketing at First Drinks Brands, Chinn is in charge of a broad portfolio of liqueurs, wines and vodkas, including Taboo, Stolichnaya and Mateus Rose. Chinn began her career with a traineeship at drinks giant Diageo, and after a change of scene working in a marketing role at the BBC, she joined First Drinks in 2001.
MICHAEL COHEN - QUORN (MARLOW FOODS)
After roles at Shell, Unilever, the BBC and Kellogg, Cohen took charge of Marlow Foods' Quorn brand in early-2004. After securing investment for the brand's first TV campaign in three years, in June this year he was promoted to marketing controller for the UK and Europe, with a promotional budget of £7m. Described by those who know him as 'relentlessly enthusiastic and energetic', he is currently repositioning Quorn as a mainstream health brand.
JAYNE LAWRENCE - SCHWEPPES (COCA-COLA)
Lawrence started out as a management consultant, but after two years moved into marketing with a post at Kraft Foods. Following a stint at GlaxoSmithKline, where she oversaw Ribena, she went to Coca-Cola, and worked on the repositioning of Diet Coke earlier this year. She is now marketing manager for Schweppes.
GEORGINA MEDDOWS-SMITH - GUINNESS (DIAGEO)
Meddows-Smith started out at Diageo as a graduate trainee. Her first major marketing post was a three-year spell as global marketing manager for Smirnoff. In 2004 she took over Guinness as marketing manager, and recently oversaw the development of the brand's 'noitulovE' TV campaign.
EMMA SHERSKI - VIVID IMAGINATIONS
As marketing and licensing director of Vivid Imaginations, the UK's biggest toy firm, Sherski is responsible for more than 60 toy brands, including the bestselling Bratz. She secured the top marketing role at Vivid two years ago after rising through the ranks at Japanese toy giant Tomy. With Christmas approaching, Vivid is banking on its Crazy Frog toy.
JAMIE GALLOWAY - COI
Galloway is a rising star at the COI, where he has worked since 1999. Appointed director of digital media in March 2002, he is now responsible for the new media and web development teams. Before joining the government's communications arm, he was international media manager at MediaCom.
DAN HEALE - CAMELOT
Heale began his career with a number of marketing, strategy and research posts at companies such as Carlton, Trinity Mirror and agency-side at PHD. He joined Camelot in a role overseeing the lottery operator's interactive operations before being promoted to his current post of senior marketing manager, media and planning.
DOMINIC ROWELL - MCDONALD'S
As head of marketing at McDonald's, Rowell reports directly to Laurie Morgan, UK vice-president of marketing at the fast-food giant. He moved to the post earlier this year from Sainsbury's, where he was head of national advertising and loyalty. Rowell has also held roles at Nestle's pet food division and PepsiCo during his 11 years in the industry.
CHRIS STAGG - BECK'S, BRAHMA (INBEV)
Stagg's speciality is new product launches. At previous employer Diageo, he was involved in the roll-out of Smirnoff Black Ice and the relaunch of Guinness Draught in a can. When he moved to InBev he led new products Absolut Cut and Brahma. Due to their success, he was recently promoted to marketing manager for Beck's and Brahma.