Britain’s biggest agencies are starting to limit their intake of
graduate trainees because fewer senior managers are changing jobs,
making it more difficult to satisfy the ambitions of younger staff.
As a result, major agencies that once hired graduates annually are now
doing so every two years, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
Nevertheless, IPA research reveals a steady rise in the number of
vacancies available to graduates, with 35 member shops offering a total
of 155 places in 1998. This compares with 101 places on offer four years
But Miranda Kennett, the IPA’s director of training and development,
claimed that moves by agencies to stagger graduate recruitment were not
necessarily a bad thing.
’Some agencies feel they’re in a state of constipation which has forced
them to think more about how and why they are hiring and to become more
efficient by agreeing on the kind of people they really need,’ she
The IPA figures also show a greater breadth of opportunities becoming
available to graduates, with more places being offered by media
specialists and regional agencies.
Advertising remains a popular choice for university leavers with at
least ten applicants for every vacancy. Some large agencies receive
between 2,000 and 3,000 applications for the handful of graduate trainee
places they have to offer.
IPA executives are trying to stem the tide and raise the quality of
applications by trying to prevent complete no-hopers from wasting
agencies’ time. Brochures and videos are being circulated to university
careers officers explaining the industry and its requirements.