NEWS: Agencies rally to save Watford ads course

Two major agencies have come to the aid of Britain’s best college course for creatives after its future was threatened by a cash crisis (Campaign, 13 October).

Two major agencies have come to the aid of Britain’s best college course

for creatives after its future was threatened by a cash crisis

(Campaign, 13 October).



And now lecturers and students on the copywriting and art direction

diploma course at Watford’s West Herts College are hoping the gesture

will prick the consciences of other, more apathetic, shops.



Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has donated pounds 1,000 to sponsor a student

for a year and to help buy much-needed equipment.



At the same time, TBWA has agreed to fund an annual student bursary and

to provide student workshops.



Two months ago, the college issued an appeal for urgent help from

agencies, warning that it no longer had enough money to provide the most

basic equipment.



Tony Cullingham, the course director, said this week: ‘The ball has

begun to roll and it’s gathering momentum.’



Meanwhile, a committee of senior agency figures was meeting this

Thursday at the London offices of J. Walter Thompson to explore ways of

raising cash for the course.



Agencies have been heavily criticised for their collective apathy, which

was blamed for the closure of the School of Communication Arts in June,

and there has been mounting alarm that the Watford course could go the

same way.



‘We’re all embarrassed by what happened to the SCA,’ said Peter Souter,

a senior Abbott Mead creative who helped arrange the agency’s financial

help to Watford. ‘Our hope is that we’ve made a gesture that others will

follow. If agencies can’t afford what is little more than the price of a

couple of generous account lunches then we’re a pretty sad bunch.’



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