Is Media-Neutral Planning Viable?

Jane Asscher

These days, it is virtually impossible to open a marketing journal without finding some reference to media-neutral planning. Its omnipresence is not without reason and the idea is not simply going to disappear. The validity of a media-neutral approach to campaign planning has become an irresistible, accepted fact. This is to be applauded and demonstrates an unusual maturity in our normally divided and mutually suspicious industry. Of course, if this maturity extended to the actual practice of campaign planning, this article would end here. But it doesn't, and I must continue.


In reality, practitioners wishing to implement a media-neutral approach are faced with a variety of obstacles. The most common among these is the assertion that, while eminently desirable, media-neutral planning is simply unworkable in practice. Unless a full service agency is involved, it is argued, remuneration complexities render it impossible to implement. If, as is the norm, a host of agencies are working together on a single campaign, they cannot deliver genuine neutrality.