New ANA/4A’s White Paper: Agency Selection Briefing Guidance

September 25, 2013

By Bill Duggan

Today, ANA and 4A’s released the new white paper, Agency Selection Briefing Guidance.   Our intention is to provide basic guidance for clients who are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of briefing an agency during the agency selection process, and give clients experienced in agency selection briefings additional best practices to consider. This is a follow-up to Guidelines for Agency Search, released two years ago. 

ANA and 4A’s believe there is an opportunity to further improve the productivity of the agency search/new business process, for both agencies and advertisers, by developing specific best practices guidance around the subject of agency selection briefing throughout the entire agency selection process, including initial list/RFI phase, semi-finalist/RFP phase,  and finalist phase.

Some key takeaways from the new white paper:

  • Every phase of a review requires a brief for the agency.
  • Each review phase warrants different types and levels of client briefing information.
  • As the review progresses, marketers should escalate the information that they provide to the agency participants and clarify the learning and capabilities expected.
  • At each review phase, expand the interaction between the client and agency teams.

Agency reviews are costly and time-consuming for marketers and agencies. All parties benefit from structuring efficient and relevant briefing practices.  Agency selection is an important strategic decision. Briefings matter. Best practice briefing practices enhance the likelihood of selecting an appropriate and culturally compatible marketing partner.

This guidance was developed by a joint task force of ANA and 4A’s members and ANA would like to thank our members who participated:

  • Debra Giampoli, director, global strategic agency relations at Mondelez International
  • Bruno Gralpois, past head of global marketing operations at Visa 
  • Colleen Mascia, senior manager, creative agency management  at Pfizer
  • Edward McFadden, senior group manager, partner management  at Target Corporation
  • Eve Reiter, Vice President, marketing category management and agency relations at American Express Company
  • Jennifer Statham, Executive director, global agency management at Dell  

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