While Boris Johnson, riding on the tails of London’s Olympic glory, has taken the top spot in GQ’s 100 Most Influential Men in Britain in its February issue a string of digital figures have made the list including some very high up. Topping the list of digital personalities is the editor of the Mail Online, Martin Clarke, who features at 11 in the overall 100, but is number one in terms of digital players.
Clarke is one of three figures from the Daily Mail empire to appear in the overall list. The other two are Johnathan Harmsworth (7), 4th Viscount Rothermere and chairman of Associated Newspapers and chairman of the Daily Mail, and Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre.
Interesting Dacre appears at 77 in the top 100 a long way behind his colleague Clarke who is seen as a possible successor if not one anointed by the man currently in charge himself.
The relative positions of the two men, separated by 66 places, shines an interesting light on the changing fortunes of print and digital and how they are viewed.
Clarke has overseen the Mail Online’s rise to become the world’s biggest online newspaper with monthly unique browsers in excess of 112 million at the end of 2012.
Daily traffic for the Daily Mail & General Trust’s website increased nearly 7% in November too, making it almost double the size of its nearest newspaper rival, and one time market leader, Guardian.co.uk.
The GQ Digital Top 11
1. Martin Clarke (11), editor of the Mail Online. The digital juggernaut that in November recorded its best ever month for traffic figures as it passed more than 112 million unique browsers. As the editor of the world’s biggest online newspaper he is seen a potential future editor of the Daily Mail and successor to Paul Dacre who is 77 in GQ’s list.
2. Owen Jones (21), author of ‘Chavs the demonisation of the working class’ and Labour lefty Independent columnist. He is not a digital figure par se, but he is a prolific and influential Twitter user with more than 76,000 followers.
3. Christoper Bailey (22), chief creative officer at Burberry. Again not a pure digital person, but Burberry’s success in social media at London Fashion Week and its digital success in general shows that online is key to the brand’s thinking.
4. Count Erik Wachtmeister (31), CEO and founder of Bestofallworlds.com. The exclusive social network for those of high net worth that is bank rolled by the Saudi Royal family. GQ calls him the Mark Zuckerberg of the elite.
5. Sir Martin Sorrell (52), chief executive of WPP Group. Again not a digital native, but WPP’s continued success in the digital arena shows how well it understands it. That’s typified by its acquisition of AKQA last year means the world’s most powerful ad man has fingers well placed in many pies.
6. Jeff Lyn (55), CEO Seeders. Lyn has taken the online crowdsourcing revolution to new levels. Successes have included educational online start-up Playbrighter.
7. Paul Staines and Harry Cole (59), editor and news editor of Guido Fawkes blog. Some say the original and still one of the best political blogs. The blog and the duo go from strength to strength as Staines expands his online political consulting business.
8. David Allen Green (70), legal correspondent at the New Statesman and Jack of Kent blogger. Best known last year for winning for the defence what became known as the “Twitter joke trial”.
9. Danny and Neil Rimer (89), partners Index Ventures. The tech investors par excellence who have put cash into Skype, and winning a huge payday, LoveFilm, Etsy, Last.fm, Net a Porter and Dropbox among others.