Paper 13 How I started account planning in agencies Stanley Pollitt

Pollitt on planning Paper 13 How I started account planning in agencies – Stanley Pollitt

First published in Admap July 1979, ©Warc. Published with permission of the copyright holder. Visit www.warc.com for more articles like this.

What ever else you read about Account Planning you have to read this one by Stanley Pollitt one of the fathers of account planning. This is one of the only 3 articles we have which he wrote. And if you like it, then I plead with you either to buy A masterclass in Brand Planning so you have your own published copy. Or track down a second-hand copy of Pollitt on Planning pictured left. It even has the link in so you can click through and get a copy.  I very much hope the APG will republish it one day. In the mean time here is the next best thing. One of the articles. The one where one of the fathers of account planning explains why he got the idea and how he implemented it.  First here’s where to get your hands on it: How I started account planning in agencies.

 

Stephen King papers

We used this paper to track down David Cowan and Peter Jones to interview them for 98% Pure Potato. Because the story Pollitt tells in this paper is how he first experimented at Pritchard Wood with a market planning department.  By making his researchers equal in status and in number to the account handlers.  He explains how most of those employed by agencies as researchers didn’t make the grade because they were too focussed on research techniques and not how advertising works.  And then at Boase Massimi Pollitt he puts in a planning department from day the agency was founded.

So one of Pollitt’s conclusions is that you have to train your own planners. Which is what he then set out to do.  He stresses the centrality of customer response. An idea he would have got from Stephen King at J Walter Thompson. But unlike Stephen King he wants his planners to research ads directly with consumers. And this paper gives the numbers so you can see how seriously BMP took researching their work. 12 groups in a single year!  When you read the paper you get an idea of a different world where advertising was a lot more customer centric than it is now.  Definitely worth a read.

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