Between the Lines: Dearth of UK planning talent

The appointment of Hugh Duthie as JWT's new planning director is a telling one (page 3).

Not because he's not up to the job - indeed, his credentials from TBWA\New York are impeccable - but because it's so rare for the UK to receive planning imports.

The move is partly attributable to Alison Burns, JWT's chief executive, being so familiar with the New York market, having only moved to London this year from that city.

However, given that the appointment has taken several months, it seems safe to assume that Duthie wasn't JWT's first choice. This is because planning skills are at such a premium just now.

To London's best planners, the prospect of running the planning department of the second-biggest agency in the country might not hold the allure it used to. This is because other options exist beyond working in above-the-line advertising. These include new opportunities in digital, media communications planning, launching a start-up and going into consultancy.

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