The Young Influentials

Adweek picks 20 under 40 who are wicked smart and rebooting your world

In the domains of media, marketing and technology, to be merely young and successful isn’t so remarkable. But to be influential—seriously influential—is something else altogether: to imagine the truly new and different, to impel real change in the way business has been done before, to lead the way and to inspire others to follow. Those are a few attributes that define and set apart these individuals, the Young Influentials, as determined by Adweek’s editors: individuals who have achieved not only a standing in the industry—in most cases, a standing far beyond their years—but who also constitute the very vanguard of innovation in media, technology, brand leadership and creative work. If you haven’t heard of them already, you will.

Jeff Benjamin

North America

Chief Creative Officer, JWT

A true creative revolutionary, the 37-year-old Connecticut native (and huge karaoke fan) first got a taste for persuasion while on his college debate team. Then, a tough boss at Modem Media taught him the value of mastering his craft. Formerly with Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Benjamin’s work has been recognized with every major advertising award, including the Grand Prix at Cannes.

Anthony De Rosa

Social Media Editor


One might not think “social media trendsetter” when one thinks of Reuters. But because of the widely followed, highly respected De Rosa, 36, Reuters has, in fact, become a model for how traditional media can harness social. De Rosa also hosts Reuters TV’s innovative program Tech Tonic. Meanwhile, in his role as columnist, he doesn’t shy away from expressing opinions or exhibiting his personality, injecting some color into the buttoned-up news org.

Brandon Berger

Global Chief Digital Officer

Ogilvy & Mather

Berger, 37, is at the center of the Ogilvy machine, reporting directly to global CEO Miles Young and key in the recent launch of the Social@Ogilvy. He also helped build the agency’s first digital innovation group. One is apt to find Berger scoping out potential acquisitions in Argentina, schmoozing with VCs or overseeing digital work for clients such as Kimberly-Clark. “I also have two little kids and a golden retriever, so I don’t sleep much,” he says

Ethan Goodman

Director, Digital Strategy

Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide

The 28-year-old, who grew up wanting to be either a sports broadcaster or sports agent, ended up in the marketing big leagues as one of the youngest directors of a business practice at the agency. Goodman is part of the team building Procter & Gamble’s digital and e-commerce business, significantly growing digital revenue and winning major e-commerce assignments from the packaged-goods giant.

Noah Kerner

Co-founder, CEO and CCO


By the time he was 30, Kerner had been a serial entrepreneur, an author and a DJ for Jennifer Lopez. Now 35, he heads up the shop he co-founded, Noise, which was acquired by Martin Puris-led Engine USA in December 2010 and specializes in influencing young people and helping clients including Intel and Trident reach the 18-34 demo with campaigns that blend technology, culture and business savvy.

Jason DeLand

Founding Partner


The 36-year-old son of a roofer and a hair stylist has a working-class ethic, but also thrives on competition. As center fielder on the Ithaca College baseball team, he twice led his division in batting average, and in his first advertising job, at TBWAChiatDay, he was central to a string of wins under then-boss Carl Johnson (becoming new business chief at age 22). The two reunited in 2004 to launch Anomaly. Today, DeLand manages Budweiser, the New York office’s biggest account.

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