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118 118 launch team sidesteps critics to top creative poll

LONDON - The team behind 118 118/The Number's launch campaign has topped the Financial Times Creative Business league this year -- despite the fact that The Number has been criticised for its poor service.

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The Financial Times Creative Review singles out WCRS' account planner Cameron Saunders and creatives Steve Little and Andy Dibb, along with the planning agency Naked and PR agency Brazil.

The team behind the launch campaign have topped the poll despite criticism that 118 118 does not always offer a top-notch service and threats from runners David Bedford and the twins Graham and Grenville Tuck to take legal action, claiming that the two runners featured in the campaign have borrowed their image.

The FT praises the campaign for its strong imagery and canny planning, saying that 118 118 got in ahead of rivals and continues to lead from the front, being the most popular of the new directory enquiries services.

Other luminaries from the marketing and advertising worlds to make the Creative Business 50 include the BBC's director of marketing, Andy Duncan, at number five; and James Bidwell, marketing director of Selfridges at number 17.

Outside the top 20, Bartle Bogle Hegarty's chief creative director comes in at 29 and Charlie Dobres, chief executive of the digital agency i-level is at 33. Will Collin, Jon Wilkins and John Harlow, the founders of Naked, the planning agency that has created a storm in the three years since it launched, are at 34.

Fallon's planning partner Laurence Green is at number 36, Paul Silburn, deputy creative director of TBWA\London is at number 38 and the photographer Alison Jackson, who created the Schweppes look-alike campaign for the ad agency Mother is at number 39.

Garry Lace, chief executive officer of Grey Worldwide London is at number 41 on the list, beating Johnny Hornby, co-founder of Clemmow Hornby Inge and the award-winning ad director Daniel Kleinman, who shot the John Smith's ads.

The list is based on the ability to turn creative ideas into cash over the past 12 months. Judges included Cilla Snowball, chief executive of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, and Tim Brooks, managing director of IPC Ignite.

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