JWT creates in-house planning consultancy

J. Walter Thompson has overhauled its planning function, creating a new department called @JWT which offers top ’thinkers’ the opportunity to work as consultants within the agency.

J. Walter Thompson has overhauled its planning function, creating a

new department called @JWT which offers top ’thinkers’ the opportunity

to work as consultants within the agency.



Merry Baskin, who is pioneering the move, will continue as planning

director for part of the week but will spend the rest of her time with

@JWT, where she will continue to have access to the agency’s research,

creative and administrative resources.



Those involved with @JWT will be expected to work with non-JWT clients

and will pay a set percentage of their income to the agency. They will

be marketed by JWT both individually and collectively.



Marco Rimini, the head of strategy and development at JWT, has been

developing @JWT for almost a year. He said: ’It’s not worth just

tinkering - this will change the way people work at agencies. It’s all

about getting the best out of people and keeping the best people.’



He added: ’You have to organise companies around the way people want to

work, not the way you want them to work. The main thing is that our

clients have access to the best people.’



Rimini hopes that @JWT will attract staff from a number of disciplines

who are looking for a flexible working environment but want to continue

to enjoy the facilities and culture of an agency.



Planners in particular - including Jackie Boulter, formerly of Abbott

Mead Vickers BBDO, Chris Forrest, the ex-planning director of Duckworth

Finn Grubb Waters, and Adam Morgan, formerly at TBWA Europe - have been

seeking ways of working - enhanced by new technology - that are not

offered by the traditional agency set-up.



JWT will continue to have a traditional account planning department,

which will be run by Hilde Oord. Rimini said: ’Hilde is good at creative

development. We need to make sure that our account planning is at its

best all the way through the creative process.’



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