CAMPAIGN FOR BEGINNERS: Miami Ad School comes to Europe

The founders of a chain of schools for wannabe creatives are planning to capitalise on the fierce competition for jobs in Europe's agencies by opening a centre in Germany.

Miami Ad School aims to give its students a grounding in all the skills needed to stand a chance of getting employment in a massively over-supplied market, which critics say is being made worse by a proliferation of college courses.

Leading UK industry figures, including John Hegarty, Bartle Bogle Hegarty's global creative director, M T Rainey, the joint chief executive of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, and the Fallon senior creative Richard Flintham, are on the board of the school, which opens in Hamburg in July.

They will help produce the curriculum, which will try to replicate the agency experience for students while enabling them to build books to give them a significant advantage when job hunting.

The school, which had hoped to open in London but claims the city is too expensive for students, insists it can't guarantee they will get jobs. But it claims many have been offered work within the first month of graduation.

Miami Ad School, which already has three centres in the US as well as one in Sao Paulo and another in Warsaw, was founded in 1993 by Ron Seichrist as a result of his experiences as a creative director when hundreds of graduate portfolios passed across his desk.

"So many young people had books that were sadly out of touch," he said.

"Assignments were unrealistic, poorly executed and totally off target.

In fact, the majority of students' work was graphic design. It was rare to find 'ads'. Advertising copy was non-existent."

The Hamburg school will be run jointly by Oliver Voss, 36, the creative managing director of Jung von Matt who has worked for Deutsch in New York and Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam, and Niklas Frings-Rupp, 35, a former account director at Springer & Jacoby. There will be regular teaching sessions from practising professionals.

Hegarty said the school's re-creation of the agency experience would set it apart from other college courses.

"I would have loved the school to have been in London but, as the industry gets more global, the fact that it is outside the UK may help students get a broader view," he added.

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