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Briefing creative agencies

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  1. What do agencies want?
  2. What is a good brief?
  3. Agency brief: main headings
  4. Information
  5. Inspiration
  6. Shared understanding
  7. Prescription and flexibility
  8. Overloading the brief

Firstly, it is important to note that there is little published material to help advertisers brief agencies as briefing media agencies are rather different, though much of the required information is common. Advertisers brief agencies to obtain creative solutions for communication problems. How the agency arrives at the solution is not important to them, but a better understanding of what agencies are looking for could improve the quality of the briefs. Creative agencies have equivocal attitudes towards the advertisers' briefs. They want to be informed, guided and challenged but not to be set impossible tasks or drowned in paperwork. They welcome briefs that will inspire their creative talents and will invariably make a considerable effort to translate the brief into their own preferred style. Since the rise of account planning as an agency discipline, agencies have seen the development of the creative brief as part of the planner's craft, a specialized skill that separates good planners from the less good. Agencies do not trust clients to produce fully crafted creative briefs.

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