Four of Britain’s advertising trade bodies have published best practice guidelines for the briefing of agencies by clients.

Titled The Client Brief, the document is the work of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, the Public Relations Consultants Association and the Marketing Communication Consultants Association.

The guidelines follow research released in March showing that nearly all agencies (99%) and clients (98%) believe a comprehensive verbal and written brief is fundamental to the development of good creative work [WAMN: 06-Mar-03].

This survey also found that clients occasionally rely on the creative process to finalise their strategy or even ask their agency to draft it for them – a practice the IPA believes wastes “time and resource on all sides of the industry”.

“No one denies the crucial importance of a good client briefing, both verbal and written, yet there are still too many clients who for reasons of time pressure or of being unsure of what to do, are not briefing their agencies properly,” declared Bates UK boss Chris Herd, who headed the project for the IPA. “Bad briefing costs everyone time and money.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff