Reading Recommendations

This is a list of books to help you understand more about planning, the language of planners and how they work within an agency. We recommend you start with one of the general advertising books to get a feel for the industry as a whole, then the planning specific ones and finally make sure you check out the examples of what the very best planning can achieve in the APG Creative Strategy Awards Books.


Planning & Strategy


Recommended by Craig Mawdsley, former APG Chair and Joint CSO at AMV BBDO:

Recommended by Shekhar Deshpande, Global Planning Director at JWT:


The Fundamentals of Business Strategy

Recommended by Zoe Scaman, Senior Strategy Director at Droga5:


Behavioiural Economics

Recommended by Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Manning Gottlieb OMD


Other Recommendations

Book Reviews


October 3, 2019

Social media’s ever growing importance in everyday life has resulted in brands paying increasing attention to social channels and in a fair amount of writing on the subject being produced. A rather nagging problem with that corpus of writing is that it’s not ageing well. Because social platforms pivot so easily and frequently, pinning down social media marketing principles and how-tos that will stay true for a long time appear...

December 11, 2018

Eat Your Greens is inspired by the genuine advances in marketing science. It challenges us to change the way we think, by taking the huge body of knowledge gained from data and technology and applying the best evidence based thinking to the practice of marketing and communications.

September 18, 2018

In this post, Katie Mackay-Sinclair reviews the APG's 2018 publication 'How Not to Plan' written by Les Binet and Sarah Carter. Les & Sarah have written 'How Not to Plan' as a guide for planners and strategists based upon the many lessons they have learned over their illustrious careers.

July 16, 2018

Deceptively simple and straightforward (like all the best planning), this book gets to the heart of what modern planners need to do and how they ought to be approaching each project.

July 11, 2018

I spend a lot of time reading marketing and psychology books. As I read them I photograph interesting snippets that I then tweet or keep for myself, so I can refer back to them. If the book is good I might take half a dozen photos while reading. In the case of How Not to Plan I’d taken that many snaps in the first ten pages. It’s exceptional.

July 5, 2018

My first planning boss always skewered the ill-thought out, or the just the plain wrong, with a piercing ‘bollocks’ or a ‘bullshit’, followed by a dissection of why the bollocks was indeed bollocks and the bullshit was indubitably so. She would then wrap this all up in a beaming smile, completely disarming her protagonist. I’ve always wished I could be like her.

July 2, 2018

This is, clearly and obviously, not your usual airport “Eat your way to blockchain riches” dreadfulness. Quite the opposite, it is brilliant. Simple, almost shamefully good, lists of how to (and how not to) plan.

June 28, 2018

When most books about marketing or advertising merely add to the landfill of calorie-free advice and are long copy exercises in self- or business-promotion, Les Binet and Sarah Carter aren’t here to sell you on some cure-all, win-all universal theory of life, planning, the universe and everything. They just want you to fuck up a little less often.

June 28, 2018

How Not To Plan is a wonderfully illuminating and insightful book that any and everyone working in Planning (and beyond) can find inspiration, reassurance, consolation and wisdom from.

June 27, 2018

Paul Feldwick reviews the APG's latest publication 'How Not to Plan' Pre-Order your copy today.

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