Making the case for client briefing

I sympathise with Chris Walmsley’s lament about the parlous state of client briefing, not only in pitches, but also ongoing relationships (MW last week).

Our estimate, based on research among clients and agencies, suggests that each year up to &£13bn of advertising work is poorly briefed to agencies.

Happily, any agency and client can now take advantage of “The Client Brief”, the joint industry best practice guide produced by the agency trade bodies in the Communications Agencies Federation (IPA, MCCA, PRCA) and ISBA, representing advertisers.

This guide is available free of charge as a PDF, downloadable from the participants’ websites or from

If more clients briefed more agencies using this best practice, it would save time and money. It would also lead to more “right first time” work that would build more powerful brands.

In the process, the standing of marketing would improve significantly, and with it agencies’ reputations.

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