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APG News



Noisy Thinking: Is pre-testing helping or hindering creativity?

19th March | 6.30-7.30pm GMT

More information coming soon...

Noisy Thinking: The Future is Reputation not Brand

21st March | 6.30-7.30pm GMT

More information coming soon...

What can you do with your planning skills? (with James Whatley & Stuart Donovan)

27th March | 5.30-6.30pm GMT

What can you do with your planning skills? (with Sandie Dilger & Liz Baines)

16th April | 5.30-6.30pm BST



Sign up any time

Essential Planning Skills

6th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th & 20th March

APG Night School

8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 22nd, 24th & 29th April

Strategic Masterclasses with Craig+Bridget

1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th May

Planning Fundamentals

13th, 14th, 15th & 16th May

Agile Strategy

9th, 10th, 11th & 12th September

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Humans Wanted

by: Tom Roach

This is a call to arms for strategy people to join a new APG GenAI & AI Working Group that aims to get the best from the technology for the planning and strategy community, and help shape a positive future for the discipline.

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The APG Future of AI Survey

What do you humans think about GenAI and what it might do to our lives and jobs? Here's a very short and rather enjoyable survey. All part of our quest to shape the future of AI for planning and strategy.

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APG AI Working Group
First Meeting: 7th March

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to the APG AI Working Group. If you are still interested in signing up, please get in touch with Sarah Newman. Our first meeting will take place on 7th March at 9am and 5pm GMT. If you are already on the list, you can RSVP here. At the session we will set the broader agenda and approach, debrief research findings, hear from the participants and invite you to come up with specific challenges for the group to start work on. And we will ensure that the challenges are put in order of priority so that there is a defined work plan. And finally, if you haven’t participated in our ‘Future of AI Survey’ you still have a few days to fill it out.

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Creative Strategy in 26 Videos

The APG A-Z is a series of 26 short and inspiring videos that are designed to give you all the basics for a proper understanding of the practice of planning and strategy. Whether you’re just starting out in an agency - be it in advertising, media, social, design, whatever - and have planner or strategist in your title, or you work for a client or research company and have a professional interest in strategy, this course is for you to do in your own time.

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ITV Head First Award
A mental health & wellbeing initiative

Carolyn McCall launched ITV Head First at this year’s ITV Palooza. This competition asks brands to join ITV and communicate to the nation the importance of taking steps towards better mental health and wellbeing, through the creation of an on-air spot.


The total prize fund is £2 million of airtime - with the winner being awarded £1 million and ITV offering to match-fund the other four shortlisted entries up to £250k each, in order to get as many representative campaigns on air as possible. The award will be chaired by Sheila Mitchell CBE, former Marketing Director for Public Health England who was the architect behind Every Mind Matters. 

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Michael Lee reveals what makes a great planner

Michael Lee, APG Chair and Group CSO at the VCCP Partnership is talking Planning skills and much more. Michael is a gripping speaker and it’s a really good conversation. Highly recommended.


APG Arrive & Thrive
How to help new talent flourish

APG Arrive and Thrive is a cross-agency initiative to improve the way we recruit, support and train young people from diverse and more disadvantaged backgrounds. Click through to read more about it and watch the video from our launch event. 

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What is in APG Think Tank?

The clue is in the name. It’s the place on the APG site where we bring together all the precious bits of strategic learning that can help you navigate a tricky problem, give you fresh inspiration or just wake up your jaded planning brain when you need help but don’t know where else to go.

To get a taster of how excellent these resources are for members, we’re giving you the chance to download one example of each for free. You’re welcome!’


APG Noisy Thinking: Is Pre-Testing Helping or Hindering Creativity?
19th March | 6.30-7.30pm GMT | Live

Come and join the noisy, live debate between Jon Evans of System 1 and host of everyone’s favourite Uncensored CMO podcast, Sarah Carter of adam&eveDDB and author of APG’s How Not to Plan, and Craig Inglis of the Entertainer Group and the client who created the John Lewis Christmas campaign.


You might think that the battle lines are set and you could predict what they’re going to say.  But they have some points of view about pre-testing that might surprise you. Which one would you guess is sceptical about research? Who sits in the middle? And why is one such a keen research advocate? 


The debate will be chaired by Martin Beverley, CSO of adam&eveDDB and co-Chair of the APG. We will be discussing the ways in which research can help and hinder creative development so we can all make more effective work, and give you some helpful ammunition for your client conversations.

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Beth Barry

We are saddened to announce the death of Beth Barry on 12th February 2024. Beth was a brilliant researcher and planner. With Lee Taylor, Beth led the Ogilvy and Mather Planning Department in the 1990’s and served as APG Chair from 1994 to 1996.  She was also the founder of the awards now known as the APG Creative Strategy Awards. She thought it was essential that the contribution of planners was publicly documented and celebrated as much as the creative work they helped to inspire. These awards go from strength to strength and are a fundamental part of her legacy.  


I would like to thank Lee Taylor, her work partner and friend for the following words in her memory, and in celebration of her unique qualities.


Sarah Newman

APG Director

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A word from the APG's new

Think of a planner. What image comes to mind? Ironic notebook? Quiet demeanour? Statement glasses? You probably conjured one of these, right? 


There’s a lingering stereotype that planners are introverted intellectuals who prefer to work solo. Of course it’s a cliché for a reason. Many strategic thinkers would choose time and space to mull over a problem or an idea....

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APG Creative Strategy Awards: What the judges are really thinking

This week John Bizzell, WARC’s awards lead, talked to Martin Beverley, Chair of Shortlisting Judges and and Kate Waters, Chair of Judges, on what they were really thinking during this year's APG Creative Strategy Awards.


We are delighted to announce the winners for the 2023 Creative Strategy Awards

The Planning team at Leo Burnett carried away the Grand Prix for McDonald’s ‘Raise Your Arches’; a spectacular demonstration of transformational creative strategy.

adam&eveDDB were crowned Stephen King Strategy Agency of the year.

In the year where we had the highest ever number of entries, it’s a real accolade to win a prize and the winning cases are brilliant. And if you’re an APG member you can read the cases on Think Tank.

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The results are in...

A point of view on the APG’s updated Strategy Skills Survey and what we have learned from it.


Each week we will be featuring a new piece written by Jim Carroll, a long serving strategist and former UK Chairman at BBH. Click through to read more and subscribe.

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