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Meet Ad Age's 40 Under 40

Press Release - New York, 20 January 2014

They come from different cities, countries and backgrounds, but this year's class of honorees have all managed amazing achievements relatively early in their careers. They have shown not just talent, but perseverance, drive and creativity that bodes well for the future of the business. We hope you enjoy reading about this year's class and learn some lessons and personal tidbits about them.

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CARTER MURRAY
CEO, DraftFCB
Age: 38

One of the most-watched hires of 2013, Carter Murray took on the task of rebuilding the reputation and client base of an agency that had a decidedly rocky few years. But only a little more than three months in at DraftFCB, he's made a number of notable hires and pursued a solid strategy of favoring smaller account wins rather than immediately jump in and pitch giant blue chips. Also on his résumé: president-CEO, Y&R North America; chief marketing officer and worldwide account director at Publicis Worldwide.

What is the best career advice you ever got?

Shut up and listen. (I'm still working on it.)

What mistake have you learned the most from?

There are too many to single out and, interestingly, many seem to contradict the other: never enough information; not following your gut instinct. Not being prepared enough; not acting fast enough. Not caring enough; caring too much. Being too open; not being forthright enough.

What advice would you give young people trying to break into your business?

Wear your heart on your sleeve and care about the work.

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

Running a bar and real estate business on the beach in Nicaragua where my wife is from.

Do you speak another language?

Bilingual in French and three words of Spanish that my wife taught me: "Si mi amor."

Ever lived/worked abroad?

Germany and England for Leo Burnett, and England and France for Publicis.

Pets? If so, what kind?

I had a golden Labrador when I was a child who died in my arms from a car accident when I was a teenager. I still hope to recover from that experience as I would really love our family to have a dog.

What city do you live in?

New York, my favorite city on Earth.

What is the first website you check every day?

CNN.

What app can't you live without?

Spoiled I know, but Uber.

Hobby?

Travel (thank goodness), food and reading.

This year's Ad Age's 40 Under 40 class is a diverse lot, but they do end up having a lot in common. Of those who answered our survey, 31 have bachelor's degrees and one-quarter have advanced degrees (one person in our class, in fact, holds two masters). Coincidentally, two of our honorees attended Wifrid Laurier University and another two went to Miami University in Ohio – though we can't say whether they were acquainted with one another there.

A full 18 speak other languages, and not just the expected Spanish, French and Italian – our list includes speakers or Urdu, Nepali, Swahili, Twi, Fante, Hebrew, Tamil and Malyalam. More than half the list – 23 -- have lived or worked abroad. Collectively, our group has worked for an average of 3.6 companies in their career.

On the personal side, 17 of our honorees reside in New York City or the surrounding areas; two come from the Los Angeles area; one lives in Palo Alto and three in San Francisco. The remainder call home Melbourne, Paris, Baltimore/Washington D.C., Chicago, Miami, Portland Ore., London, Minneapolis, Dallas, Louisville, Ky., and Boston.

Our honorees collectively own 18 dogs (three on our list own two dogs). There are only three cat owners. One confesses to owning a frog and another a collection of rubber duckies.

There are only three left-handers in the group. Those who responded to our survey are nearly split in their loyalties to Facebook (18) and Twitter (17). Among the apps they can't live without, the top winner was Instagram, followed by Uber, Evernote, Weather, Spotify and Google Maps.