Celebrating the role of strategic planning: Insights from the 2012 4A's Strategy Festival

Geoffrey Precourt

In 2003, Jeff Goodby, co-chairman of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, took the stage at the American Association of Advertising Agencies' (4A's) Account Planning Conference to complain that planners had taken the "instinct out of advertising."

A few years ago, the conference was re-branded as the 4A's Strategy Festival. But when Goodby returned to the stage in 2012 as part of a conference-opening keynote, he still seemed grumpy about the planning/strategic function.

"It's different in every agency," he told the sell-out assembly, "How do strategists get listened to? How do they make a difference? There are a lot of good strategists around, but agencies don't listen. The smartest people want to find out what's new and interesting. I love that…. But some creatives resent planners in their bailiwick."