It seems intuitive that as firms continue to try and keep in touch with the customers they serve, research should play an increasingly important role in determining the needs and wants of the consumer. Accordingly, as goods and services are tailored to meet these needs, so too does the accompanying advertising. Additionally, there is constant pressure on advertising agencies to produce advertising that consistently meets the objectives of their clients. Marketing departments, in turn, have to justify and be accountable to top management for advertising budgets. Consequently, agencies increasingly have to provide measures of effectiveness (Flandin et al 1992). In order to optimize the process(es) that will meet client objectives, agencies have to ensure that they understand how the consumer thinks and feels. One such approach to understanding the consumer's view is account planning. The main objective of this paper will be to provide a thorough review of the account planning phenomenon in advertising and in so doing, highlight the use of advertising research from a developmental perspective. This paper will describe the account planning process and how it differs from traditional agency practices. The justification for such a paper is the fact that billions of dollars are spent annually on advertising, in the hopes that the advertiser's objectives will consistently be met. If it could be demonstrated that increased attention to the consumer, in the development stages of advertising leads to more effective advertising than when consumer input is limited to the evaluation of advertising, after the fact, this would be of significant interest to advertisers as well as advertising agencies.