EDITORIAL: Creative training is vital to ad industry

Last week's announcement by the two most influential bodies in the agency sector that they are collaborating on a training manifesto to promote the continuous professional development of all creative practitioners comes as a welcome relief. It is also decades overdue.

Finally the IPA and D&AD have realised the grim truth; that fewer and fewer talented creatives want to be a creative director or have any idea of how to progress their careers beyond the next awards ceremony or job move. For too long the talented creative has had to sink or swim when faced with management challenges that their counterparts in other agency departments have been training for since their first day in the agency.

Creative departments, if they are any good, will have their fair share of nonconformists and anarchists and it is understandable that many feel daunted by the required talents that it takes to deal with them. Training is essential to give creatives the skills and confidence to make the most of their careers and to help them to work constructively with other departments within the agency in the service of the client. Only then will advertising be able to widen its work beyond the traditional display media into the new relationships, both high-tech and low-tech, by which clients now reach consumers.

Now, under the banner of D&AD's Workout programme, these issues are to be addressed. But the challenges are truly daunting: apart from producing more rounded professionals who are better equipped to deal with the challenges of the future, the aim is to encourage more women to choose and to stay with advertising as a career.

To date, various half-hearted attempts have been made to address this issue and the industry will be watching to see whether this latest initiative is followed through with the required vigour and determination. If not, it will only end up as so much more spin with little substance.

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