AD-Cademy’s vision, a win-win
As an industry, we need to actively support the talent pipeline by backing schemes designed to both accelerate young people’s learnings and, crucially, game change the blend of our industry at scale. Since its launch five years ago, 230 young talents from multicultural, socially mobile, neurodiverse and majority female backgrounds have passed through Brixton Finishing School, gaining roles at agencies including Global, R/GA, MediaCom and Gravity Road.
Now Ally Owen is building on that success with The Ad-Cademy. As she says, “Young people from Burnley to Liverpool to Glasgow and all across the country will have access to an awesome self-serve learning platform of lectures from some of the stars of the creative and media industries, as well as showcases and events that will enrich their knowledge of the advertising industry."
Supporters to date include a cross-section of the industry from adam&EveDDB to KFC and Mother to Wolff Olins, with the strategic branding consultancy’s Global CEO Sairah Ashman commenting: “If you genuinely believe in diversity and inclusion, you need to take real action. No longer can it just be about talk or best intentions. That means supporting graduates from underrepresented communities, helping them not only get their foot in the door but thrive once they do so”.
Jessica Hargreaves, Group MD of PrettyGreen, agrees: “This isn’t about a one-way ‘charity’, this is about improving the marketing industry with previously untapped creative minds. We have found working with their student teams invaluable for delivering insight and ideas for client briefs and have enjoyed full day ideation sessions together”.
Amina Folarin, Chief Inclusion Officer and Global People Director at Oliver adds: “I’m a big believer that, if you can see it then you can be it. The problem is, as Ally knows, these school-leavers simply don’t see it enough. We could have just signed a commitment pledge, like many businesses do. But pledges don’t give businesses anything actionable, and accountability is thin. The Brixton Finishing School has been an incredible partner in helping our business commit publicly to change; to inclusion in its broadest sense, socio-economic backgrounds, race, gender, sexual-orientation, and to giving people real opportunity.”
As a partner to Brixton Finishing School and the AD-Cademy there’s lots of ways to get involved giving time, knowledge and investment. Amplify’s focus will be sharing our knowledge of brand experience, spending time getting to know this year's cohort and investing in AD-Cademy to ensure an inclusive talent pipeline for 2021. Other partners have given in kind too. Clear Channel, Mail Metro Media and Refinery 29, part of Vice Media Group, all supported the launch by giving media to aid awareness while Mother Design developed the launch campaign branding.
By collaborating to support the next wave of young talent, we can and will accelerate towards a more inclusive industry.
Visit the AD-Cademy website via Brixton Finishing School for more information.