Agencies are urged by IPA to stop taking on work placements

Agency creative directors are being urged to stop taking placements

and end a system long criticised for exploiting young teams.

Instead, placement teams should be treated like any other agency recruit

by being put on the payroll, paid at least the minimum national wage,

given a three-month trial and fired at the end of it if they are not

good enough.

The move comes from the IPA Creative Directors Forum, which has been

investigating the system and its shortcomings.

In a letter to the creative directors of the UK's top 50 agencies, Chris

O'Shea, the forum's chairman, said: 'Basically, it confirms what we all

probably know - the whole thing is a mess.'

Forum members believe the system benefits neither agencies nor young

creatives operating in a market so competitive that only about 15 per

cent of them will succeed in getting permanent jobs.

The system is also blamed for the massive lack of women creatives.

If creative directors agree to commit to ending the system, the forum

will ask the IPA Council to make the outlawing of placements official