Nearly 100 agencies across the UK are opening their doors to around 2,000 students as part of the IPA careers programme, Advertising Unlocked, which aims to showcase a career in advertising to schoolchildren aged 13-18, and provide agencies with an audience of new and diverse talent.
The scheme, which pairs agencies with local schools, will this year see agencies host open days in 18 towns and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, with 40% of participating agencies based outside London.
Since its inception in 2017, nearly 10,000 schoolchildren have attended Advertising Unlocked open days, which typically see agencies run a range of practical experiences, from workshops, interactive discussions, demonstrations, tours, and creative challenges.
This year’s participants include AMV BBDO, DDB UK, Dentsu, EssenceMediaCom, Grey London, Havas UK, Leo Burnett, M&C Saatchi, MBAstack, McCann, Medialab, Mother, Omnicom Media Group UK, Publicis Groupe, Rapp, Saatchi & Saatchi, The & Partnership, The7Stars ,VCCP and Wunderman Thompson.
Activities during Advertising Unlocked 2023 will include working on creative and media briefs and pitching ideas; interactive discussions and workshops on iconic campaigns, and on new tools and platforms, including AI and TikTok; Q&As with different departments to ask about the various roles; and CV-building and career advice from agency staff.
IPA President and GroupM CEO UK & EMEA Josh Krichefski said: “People are the lifeblood of adland. It is vital that we continue to make a career in advertising as attractive and accessible as possible to the next generation of talent.
“I’m delighted to see the industry working together with so many agencies around the country getting involved in Advertising Unlocked this year to help achieve this. We are opening the eyes of nearly 2000 schoolchildren to the amazing possibilities a career can hold, and I can’t wait to see them take their first steps on that journey.”
Speaking during Advertising Unlocked 2022, Gemma Smyth, Senior Planner, VCCP: “Advertising Unlocked is something that the industry really needs. We are struggling with recruiting new, more diverse young talent as we’ve been relying for too long on people coming to us. What Advertising Unlocked does is really show young people what the ad industry has to offer them, and what they can offer us.”
Muna, a student who attended in 2022 said: “Advertising Unlocked has changed my views about a career in advertising. I thought that it just meant creating an advert and then your role is done. Knowing that you can work for a company that cares about and celebrates who you are is something that is amazing.”
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