The country’s top creative directors have pledged to win a better
deal for placement teams forced to live in near poverty while fighting
to secure the few agency jobs that are on offer.
Their aim is to give young hopefuls more financial security and better
prospects of permanent jobs at the end of their placement periods.
All top 20 UK agencies will be asked to commit themselves to hiring at
least one placement team a year - with the threat of a public shaming if
they renege on their promise.
The initiative, by the IPA Creative Directors Forum, is intended to
deflect criticism that placements are no more than a source of cheap
labour for agencies, while providing young creatives with career
opportunities matching those of graduate trainee account people.
Chris O’Shea, the forum’s chairman, said: ’We know we can’t make the
system perfect but we can make it better. These young creatives are the
The action plan was drawn up after a meeting last month at which 23
young creatives either on placement or hoping to be offered one
explained their problems to O’Shea and his fellow forum members, Peter
Souter, Trevor Beattie and Dave Droga.
As a result, the forum is pressing the IPA to lobby the Government to
extend to young creatives the concession it already makes to young
musicians - they are treated as self-employed and have their benefits
protected if they take temporary assignments.
The forum hopes such a concession could encourage more women creatives
into the industry. ’I’m sure that one of the reasons so many women drop
out of the placement scheme at an early stage is because they don’t
relish the prospect of dossing down on a mate’s floor for weeks on end,’
Meanwhile, the forum will urge agencies to make their working
environments less intimidating for young creatives by supplying them
with a guide that provides basic information.
’It should tell them things like who they should show their work to, who
they should accept briefs from and how long they should spend on a job,’
O’Shea said. ’We’ve assumed they know these things, but they don’t.’