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
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
‘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.’