Thursday, 1 May 2008

Stephen King - JWT

Have you ever wondered what the father of 'Account Planning' looked and behaved like? I first heard of the existence of this video in JWT London's weekly meeting and recall Guy Murhpy's (JWT Global Planning Director) face lighting up at the description of 'hammers' as examples of product parity in utility.

I then saw it for the first time at the launch of
'A Master Class in Brand Planning' with Merry Baskin and Judith Lannon back in November, and was taken aback at how plannery Stephen King was. Which of course makes complete sense. Here we can see the enthusiasm for the abstract from way back in this marvelous clip that Guy has released and which also includes the remarkable Jeremy Bullmore who shared with me the inside story on that JWT clothing allowance that John Grant talked about over on Brand Tarot here. Jeremy told me in London before I came to Beijing that the allowance was a tax break and that it was a choice between a lawn mower or a clothing allowance and not as suspected an elitist perk for the Toffs. I think this is as good an example as it gets of confirmation bias, narrative fallacy, silent evidence, and epistemic arrogance which are all weaknesses that planners should be conscious of struggling against when forming conclusions.


  1. which bit of having what was actually known as a tailor's allowance for JWT directors wasnt elitist - they also had a london club allowance, their own separate bar on the 7th floor, chauffeurs in a number of cases...?

    if they also got this as a tax deductible perk it means that....?

    Jeremy Bullmore by the way is a wonderful thoughtful commentator and a great entertaining speaker

    just wondering about bias/fallacy/evidence
    (& you didnt mention hearsay in the list)


  2. Yep. Jeremy Bulmore is ace. It was brilliant to ask him about the context for the tailors allowance as it diminished a little the rep JWT had as a Toffs agency. I doubt I'll ever get a chance to ask him about the other stuff though :)