What agencies get paid for…

Further to Ian Whiteling’s report on client briefs (MW September 4), it is undeniably the role of the agency to take the initiative in ensuring its staff have a thorough understanding of the key campaign objectives – no matter how good or bad the brief may be.

As Niki Hurst and Paul Godwin point out, it is essential that the agency asks the right questions at the beginning of the briefing process and looks beyond what is contained in the brief itself, so it can truly understand what the client is expecting to get out of the sales promotion activity. Often, what is left out of the brief is the most interesting and valuable part.

Unfortunately, finding the time to talk through the client’s needs at length to determine its short- and long-term goals, the market it operates in and its competitors’ activities is something that many agencies still fail to do effectively. So when a campaign fails, the blame is shifted to a badly written brief, rather than a badly handled account. The result? A frustrated client at best, a lost account at worst, and a bad taste left in the client’s mouth in relation to using sales promotion activity in the future.

Robert Prevezer

Chief executive

The Communications Agency

London W1

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