Getting Ad Briefs Down to a Science

New Web service helps marketers create and manage assignments

Ad briefs—the physical assignment a client sends to its agency confirming details of a campaign—are a pain for both parties involved. Agencies complain they’re too vague; clients lose time and money if the resulting campaign doesn’t reflect their desires.

And when briefs arrive at the agency in the form of text messages or half-baked emails, agencies scramble to read the client’s mind, then cross their fingers that whatever they come up with pleases the client.

That’s an approach Casey Jones, a former global vp of marketing at Dell, wants to change. “We use less data and discipline for monitoring briefs than we use for travel policies,” he says.

So with support from former IPG chairman David Bell and former Hyperion Solutions chairman Jeff Rodek, Jones created BriefLogic, a Web service that helps marketers create and manage assignments. Through a series of customizable inputs, the product standardizes the assignment process for marketers, with the idea of eliminating the money wasted by bad briefs. And, Jones’ thinking goes, better briefs can eliminate noise and improve return on investment. Or at least that’s the hope. And if it works, there’s a big market out there for a product like this one.

Launched last week at Internet Week New York, BriefLogic is currently operating beta versions with Whirlpool and Verizon.