9. John Stratton

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AD BUDGET: $1.74 billion

AGENCIES INCLUDE: Interpublic's McCann Erickson, N.Y. Publicis's Verizon Media at Zenith, N.Y. Interpublic-backed GlobalHue, Southfield, Mich. Viva Partnership, Miami.

POWER PLAY: Verizon Wireless may have fallen into the No. 2 position in the marketplace with Cingular's acquisition of AT&T Wireless, but an aggressive John Stratton has been rapidly nibbling away at Cingular's lead. Verizon has been gaining customers with price cuts and retaining subscribers with quality service. Verizon also has been one of the most aggressive carriers in terms of driving up average revenue per user by selling data services-entertainment content on the mobile phone. Using the VCast service to lead development of the mobile phone as the third screen, Mr. Stratton has taken a number of steps such as signing a publishing relationship with Electronic Arts to bring top-selling games to the mobile phone.

DOWNSIDE: Although Mr. Stratton, 44, has refined Verizon's "We never stop working for you" campaign into what one analyst calls an "art form," the marketer needs to figure out what comes next, particularly as quality service becomes commoditized. VCast is falling short of some analysts' expectations; they argue it's still too expensive to take off.

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