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Best New Thinking Winner 2010



Right then – one of the axioms of this website is that account planning needs to be less advertising centric and here’s my bid to do something about it. It’s not that I have a beef about advertising – I regularly work developing advertising and working with ad agencies but I am also called upon to exercise my skillset far more widely and to do this I have to work differently. This is an initiative to codify what account planning offers.

I have chosen to define it in terms of added value because as we know you don’t need planners to produce communications. Anyone can write a creative brief. Our role is to make the work better and to improve the quality of the service which an agency gives to a client. Research is still a central part of the planner’s authority so I have also chosen to define how research is used to support the planning role. Lastly I’ve chosen to provide examples of work which I have done which illustrate how planning can work in these areas.

The process goes something like this. I have written a starter for 10 which I have circulated to heads of department or senior agency people in UK agencies. Their comments will be posted as they come in. From this I shall write an amended definition. Which can be used by those agencies who do have planning departments for recruitement and induction. And can act as a guide for those agencies which don’t currently have planning as to how to do it. Frequently planning experiments foul up because the agencies concerned don’t understand it. This should reduce the casualty rate. It is my hope that it will lead to significant increases in the number of vacancies for planners and planning thinking.

So here we go!

Oh and yes I will do one for advertising but only when I have completed all the others – it should provide some perspective.

Starters for 10 – already completed

Starters for 10 – not yet written

  • Business development
  • Research
  • Integrated Comunications
  • Advertising

For the remainder of the list I will need help because though I have done projects in most of the areas there are practitioners who are far more proficient than I

The rest – where I will need some help!

  • Design
  • PR and reputation management
  • Sponsorship
  • Internal culture marketing
  • Account planning inside client companies


  • Contract Publishing
  • CRM
  • Recruitment advertising
  • Live Events

As you see it’s quite a list!

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