Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Plan this!

Planners seem be getting a bit of stick at the moment, so I thought I better sort this out once and for all.

Planning is a non-job created to help graduates get into advertising without having to learn anything that they didn’t already know.

In advertising’s halcyon days I believe you could just swan into an agency with a bottle of sherry, help the creative director with his crossword and he’d give you a forty grand job on the spot. But the popularity of art school advertising courses, which produce loads of people every year with comparable credentials, means that getting a job in a creative department has become an intensely competitive, formalised experience. One that your average speccy Tarquin can’t be bothered with, having already completed his or her education, so far as he’s concerned.

I can sort of understand wanting to be a creative. And I know of a certain psychopathology for which account handling is just a perfect fit. But no one grows up wanting to be a planner. No one.

Don’t get me wrong some of my best friends are planners, but as I'm constantly reminding them, they are just directionless yuppies whom Oxbridge has rendered unteachable and who, denied any responsibility for the whole of their lives, feel no need to make a useful contribution to the world.

The only good thing about planners is that, under the right conditions, they may serve to kerb the wanton caprices of the creative director, who left to his own devices will probably change the brief once every eight seconds, rendering any actual work impossible.


Dan said...

Dave Trott shares your low opinion of this particular agency role, but seems significantly more enraged by its intrusion on creatives' turf:

mzlz said...

I think planners have a lot to answer for, possibly more than we care to imagine. Their constant trust and endoresement of index ratings, moronic focus groups and pre-post testing has commodified the creative product.

Unfortunately, the creative function has become a means to a strategic/research end and I'm afraid the once priceless creative culture has been replaced with a scientific, predictive and risk averse one.

Creativity has become the marketing fall guy and as a strategy director, that makes me feel sad and dissapointed. What's more, it's devalued a core income stream. Smart thinking chaps.

If This Is A Blog Then What's Christmas said...

Aside from a very few, the planners I've worked with are not quite as clever as they think they are (a near impossible achievement) and covering this fact up really eats away at them, turning them into arseholes..

Anonymous said...

I started to write you a very well structured and persuasive response but deleted after realising you're just one of those guys you see in a bar, and against your better judgement, just want to punch really hard in the face.

Gordon Comstock said...

Here we see the terrifying violence of those whose only means self-expression is Microsoft Powerpoint.

Anonymous said...


Come on, creatives!
Planners are clever and nice.
Great at planning too.