LONDON: The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - the body representing UK advertising, media and marketing communications agencies - today (Tuesday) issued its members with its first-ever guidance note for clients and agencies to assess each other's roles.

It aims to encourage agencies to take control of the assessment process and better manage their accounts and relationships with clients.

So far as the latter is concerned the initiative is especially welcome since, all too often, as the late poet Thom Gunn put it ...

Their relationship consisted
In discussing if it existed.

The guidance has been developed in response to demand from member agencies, approximately only 10% of whom carry out client appraisals. Moreover, the larger shops generally employ outside consultancies when doing so.

A client appraisal form, designed with advice and input from relationship specialist Aprais, will provide a basic approval programme for small-to-medium agencies who cannot afford external appraisal firms.

The document explains why assessments are important, what approaches there are, checklists (and how to make them work) and pitfalls to avoid. It also contains sample questionnaires for creative agencies, media companies and clients.

The questionnaires allow both sides to assess whether each other's expectations have been met across all areas, including account management, strategic planning/research, media planning, creative, production and financial management.

Says IPA Client Services Group chairman Andrew McGuiness: "Securing new clients is an expensive business, so it is far more productive and profitable for agencies to grow organically and get the maximum value out of each and every current client relationship.

"The guidance will help agencies to do this by enabling them to take control of the assessments and provide a framework in which constructive debate can take place to strengthen client relationships."

Member agencies can download the IPA's guidance by clicking here.

Data sourced from IPA (UK); additional content by WARC staff