While Viacom's Sumner Redstone, P&G's Bob Wehling and Omnicom's John Wren have all pushed the right buttons and successfully navigated their way to the top of the marketing world, Ad Age sought out the boomer-and-behind set-Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z and Gen Triple A up-and-comers. Web-savvy, fashion-conscious and plugged in to their peer group's leanings, these market drivers are going places via the point-and-click route.
Stephen Andrzejewski is an architect behind the direct-to-consumer push for Schering-Plough Corp.'s anti-allergy drug Claritin, the paradigm for a successful DTC campaign. Schering-Plough spends a bundle on Claritin advertising -- some $173 million last year. Claritin also sells well -- more than $1 billion in 1998. Claritin advertising under the 34-year-old Mr. Andrzejewski -- who was product manager for the drug when it launched in 1993 and has risen through Schering's ranks on Claritin's success -- has repeatedly broken new ground, from its use of celebrity (Joan Lunden) to its recent tie-in as a sponsor of Major League Baseball. Last year, Mr. Andrzejewski became Schering-Plough's VP-marketing, giving him the opportunity to apply his magic touch to more products and categories.
When Susan Arnold became president-global skincare for Procter & Gamble Co. in July, she was the first woman in P&G history to crack the glass ceiling to the presidential level. At 45, she ranks only two rungs from CEO. Ms. Arnold enters her new position with plenty of room to make an impact. P&G has been losing share in cosmetics, body soaps and facial cleansers for years. If she can reverse that trend, she'll make a strong case that she ultimately should head one of P&G's global business units, and could put herself in line to become P&G's first female CEO.
At 33, Lisa Bennett has attained more prestige, acclaim and clients than many people who have spent three decades on the job. In charge of creative for Leo Burnett USA's McDonald's account, she helped the Chicago agency land the estimated $50 million global H.J. HeinzCo. ketchup business, and turned around advertising for True Value, BP Amoco and Commonwealth Edison -- all accounts she oversees. Named to posts usually designated for veterans her parents' age, the executive is one of the private company's youngest shareholders. Onlookers say it's her smarts and an ability to listen and motivate that have clients trusting the bubbly Texan's insights -- and Burnetters are clamoring to get on her team.
Chatmarketing is here. Visitors to The Gay.com Network, the largest online community for gays and lesbians -- with more than 200,000 visitors a day -- are targets of a new twist in direct marketing thanks to the latest venture of the Internet company's 36-year-old president, Mark Elderkin. The program, eCommunity e-commerce -- sure to become a marketing wave of the Internet future -- allows advertisers to use Gay.com's message boards, polls and chat rooms to engage in one-to-one dialogue in real time. Marketers looking to tap into the $350 billion-plus gay market should keep an eye on this entrepreneur's next move.
William Clay Ford Jr.
William Clay Ford Jr. bears the name -- and, more importantly, the unified support -- of one of the great automotive dynasties. Chairman of Ford Motor Co. since Jan. 1, he represents the Ford clan, which keeps its differences to itself -- and its grip on the company solid. That formula gives Mr. Ford, 42, the potential to be a dominant figure in the industry for the first quarter of the 21st century. During his short tenure he has bought Sweden's Volvo Car Co. for $6.45 billion (in part because of its reputation for social and environmental responsibility); vowed to reengineer the company's trucks to cut exhaust emissions; and promised that each new vehicle Ford develops will be at least 5% more fuel efficient than the one it replaces. "This is a path we are on," he has said, "from which there is no turning back."
Servicing one client for most of a career is rare. But for the last decade Christine Fuller, 33, has done just that with AT&T Corp. The senior VP-national broadcast director at Media Edge, New York, is so plugged into AT&T "she can anticipate things for them almost before they know what they want," says her former boss, Aaron Cohen, now exec VP-broadcast at Horizon Media. With AT&T migrating to cable and other telecommunications forms, Ms. Fuller's role will only become more important.
Marina Hahn, 39, is blazing trails in the agency world's newly hot entertainment marketing specialty. She left the William Morris Agency earlier this year to take the new position of exec VP-strategy and entertainment at J. Walter Thompson USA, New York. Her job: Marry the creative forces of entertainment to corporate marketing resources. With a career that includes top advertising posts at Sony Electronics and Pepsico's beverages unit, and extensive account experience at DDB Worldwide, Ms. Hahn is poised to propel the linking of entertainment and advertising into a serious commitment.
Mark Hogan has been one of the cadre of executives trying to change General Motors Corp.'s ponderous culture since its boardroom coup of 1992. Now he has taken the reins of the most futuristic part of the corporation: e-GM, which is developing GM's electronic-commerce efforts. Mr. Hogan, 48, has been on GM's fast track since Jack Smith replaced Robert Stempel as chairman. But last summer, Mr. Hogan's comments about ways to trim the manufacturing process angered the UAW; shortly afterward, he moved to e-GM. He oversees GM's BuyPower Web car-shopping site, the OnStar vehicle communications system and all GM Web sites. Mr. Hogan clearly has the tools to make GM an online player; the real issue is whether he can change GM's cautious style.
Mary Carole Jorgensen
An account planner who believes great creative can emerge from the strategic side, Mary Carole Jorgensen encourages her team members at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to open their minds to that approach. Changing the culture of the industry will be a challenge, but the 25-year-old thrives on challenge. In June 1998, a couple of weeks after graduating from the Virginia Commonwealth University Adcenter in Richmond and getting married, Ms. Jorgensen and her husband packed their bags and moved West. They had no place to live and no job offers. A month later, she snagged her current position and has taken on work for Pacific Bell, Optiva Corp.'s Sonicare and Foster Farms. If this idea generator can sell the ad world on the positive effects of the creative side of strategics, she'll go far.
Hurst Lin, the 34-year-old VP-business development and co-founder of Sina.com, was a Stanford University M.B.A. student with an engineering background in 1994 when he and two friends developed a Chinese-language Internet site. Their vision was simple: Provide a site that crosses time and geographic boundaries to bring together Chinese in the U.S. and Canada. Responses came in abundance, and the business grew so quickly Stanford removed the site from its server. Then Ken Tai, co-founder of Acer Computer, agreed to back the venture. Sina.com now has 1 million registered users, 150 million page views per month and recognition as the No. 1 Chinese-language portal. Mr. Lin sees huge growth on the Internet for the Chinese market, and looks likely to capitalize on the post-convergence industry by becoming a mini media mogul.
One problem agencies have is keeping good people. Case in point: Bill Morningstar, 33, who was one of the brightest stars at Grey Advertising before he was scooped up by the WB and named VP-Eastern ad sales. One buyer says Mr. Morningstar is a big reason the WB was able to extract big cost-per-thousand increases from Madison Avenue this year. "He has this great ability to make you think he's working just as hard for your client as you are. If anyone is destined to be the head of a network sales force, it's Billy."
Lachlan Murdoch, 27, has his arms full running operations on two continents. From Sydney, Australia, he oversees 132 newspapers, a pay TV operation and a Fox Studios production outfit. In the U.S., he's in charge of HarperCollins, New York Post and News Corp.'s in-house ad unit. Father Rupert isn't saying which of his three company-employed children he's going to anoint to head the business, but observers predict it'll be Lachlan. Imagine: Instead of a media world being shaped by the elder Mr. Murdoch -- known to tattoo a stinging headline on a politician or two -- there'll be Lachlan, recognizable by his tattoos, one on each arm.
Dubbed "sherpa" after the Himalayan guides he met while on a trek through Nepal in 1998, Digital Pulp's President-CEO Lee Nadler heads an interactive shop driven to create comprehensive online businesses for clients such as Egghead Software, which he helped turn from a bricks-and-mortar operation to an online-only retailer. Before joining Digital Pulp, Mr. Nadler, 32, was online advertising network DoubleClick's first director-global marketing and its only marketing sherpa. If this man in the forefront of online commerce innovation can continue to transform traditional operations into ones with mega-Web presence, he'll have a name forever coupled with Internet marketing.
Freelancing is a struggle for most, but for 26-year-old Jennifer Park it's a walk in the park -- or climb up the ladder. After winning a Cannes Bronze Lion award for a Pepsi spot, she left her junior position at BBDO Worldwide, New York, to flesh out her portfolio on the West Coast. With a creative style more European than American, the 1995 Miami Ad School graduate landed steady free-lance work with Deutsch, Marina del Rey, Calif., and TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. She's created campaigns for Best Western, L.A. Cellular and Scotts Co.'s Miracle-Gro Products that helped push her to sought-after status by her 25th birthday. The product of an advertising family -- Dad's at Chicago's Leo Burnett USA and sister Heather is at BBDO -- Jennifer is proof of free agency.
At 26, Kirk Perron shed his $12-an-hour Safeway grocery clerk position to launch a fruit smoothie juicebar. Ten years and 250 stores later, Jamba Juice is a $23.5 million business. Revenues, up a whopping 4,000% from 5 years ago, give investors, including Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, reason to celebrate. And celebration is just what the West African word Jamba means. Recognizing competition is fierce in this fast-growing, half-billion-dollar industry, Mr. Perron widened his reach by adding breads and soups to his menu. His strategy includes swallowing other juicers. Jamba Juice acquired two other juice bar chains in the past year.
Dan Snyder's voracious acquisition appetite has helped transform Snyder Communications, his low-profile direct marketing company, into a marketing behemoth. In 1998, he showed Madison Avenue he was ready to play in the big leagues by swallowing up hot shop Arnold Communications. This year, Mr. Snyder suited up for the National Football League when the 34-year-old chairman-CEO bought the Washington Redskins. Colleagues and business associates say his purchasing power derives not only from Snyder stock, but also from his unstoppable business drive. If the Redskins have half the fire of their new owner, they'll be setting rushing records well into the new millennium.
Peter van Stolk
Peter van Stolk, 36, creator of a soda that has tapped the soul of the hip urban market, has seen his company's sales jump 147% to $5.53 million in the course of a year thanks to his use of specialty bottle labels. Jones Soda labels bear a continually changing array of photos and images, most submitted by consumers. The more than 150 different labels are now cult collector's items; parched Gen Xers shell out close to $2 a pop to wrap their hands around them, and the empties have become collectibles auctioned on the Web. His innovative marketing strategy has major marketers such as Armani clamoring to slap their designs on bottles of Jones Soda through clever tie-ins. The concept may spark a growing trend in package labeling.
WPP Group is one of the more aggressive holding companies driving growth in the diversified services sector. And John Zweig, 49, leads the group that includes direct marketing, promotion, identity branding, healthcare, retail, interactive and ethnic marketing. Mr. Zweig, CEO of WPP Group Specialist Communications, boasts talents as varied as the companies he oversees. A professional studio musician since his teens, he served in Vietnam and as a race-relations educational specialist for the U.S. Navy before joining the agency world in 1984. With intensive yet careful growth plans, Mr. Zweig and WPP are working on a whole new face in this post-modern agency world.
Baby Gen Triple A
Meet the target market of 2018 -- the Gen Triple A consumer. After nearly two decades of Huggies Supremes, Hanna Andersson clothes, BK Big Kid Meals, My Sony Internet Pal, Pepsi Three, Scholastic Online textbooks, WNBA Barbies and Sega Dreamcast videogames, she's about to drive off in her new battery-powered Saturn SC3B three-door coupe for her first semester at UC-Santa Barbara. With her new Visa Diamond credit card, she plans to purchase her own Intel-driven Net/PC/TV/Videostream/MP3/stereo for the dorm room. And if you haven't created a loyal consumer out of her yet, you better hurry up. By the time she retires,