17. John Mendel

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AD BUDGET: $1.2 billion

AGENCIES INCLUDE: RPA, Santa Monica, Calif. La Agencia de Orci & Asociados and Muse, L.A.

POWER PLAY: A new face at Honda, John Mendel marks the first wave of executive changes at the top there in 15 years. Mr. Mendel oversees Honda's product planning, advertising, marketing and other areas, after he bailed from Mazda North American Operations last fall not long after being passed over for the top job and a stint as interim president there. As part of a 10-year deal with Disneyland early this year, Honda was the park's official vehicle sponsor during its ongoing 50-year celebration. Honda launched the new Ridgeline pickup during the Super Bowl.

DOWNSIDE: Mr. Mendel has already said he wants to make Honda cool again. His first chance will be with this fall's launch of the newest Civic. Will he rouse longtime Honda agency RPA, whose creative, experts claim, has gotten too understated due to years working with the same Honda hierarchy?

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