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The account planning ‘philosophy’ of creative advertising development has been hyped on both sides of the Atlantic for more than 30 years yet there is still little agreement on what exactly it is and what contribution it has made. This article reviews current perspectives on the account planning discipline from the London and New York agencies that pioneered the discipline. Depth interviews suggested that account planning remains a powerful idea for advertising professionals and a major priority for top international agencies. The complexity and depth of feeling that surrounds the topic, however, is striking. Views range from passionate advocacy to open cynicism. This article offers an interpretation of the major issues that emerged and integrates this with research perspectives to suggest an agenda for the wider understanding and successful implementation of account planning.
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