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.