Account Planning Comes to Stone Ward

DALLAS Stone Ward has added an account planning department in hopes of further positioning the shop for national growth, the agency said.

IV Whitman is heading up the discipline as director of account planning. Prior to joining the Little Rock, Ark., shop, Whitman was based in Asheville, N.C., for two years. While there, he started and managed the national children’s magazine, Explore!. Prior to that, he worked as an account planner at Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco for a year and at Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago for two-and-a-half years.

Independent Stone Ward’s account planning was previously handled informally by account and creative personnel, according to president Millie Ward. “I.V. was brought on because we believed it was time to formally establish the discipline of account planning to better serve our clients and build for the future of the agency,” she said.

Over his career, Whitman has worked on national accounts such as Bayer Corporation, Red Lobster, Orville Redenbacher Popcorn, SBC and Dreyer’s/Eddy’s Ice Cream. Local and global brands include Hewlett-Packard, Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble.

“Account planning is so important because its bridges the gap between consumers and the brands they’re interested in,” Whitman said. “It’s a really brilliant new business tool.”