- Saatchi & Saatchi is investing in a new student website which the agency hopes will enable it to recruit Britain's top students.
The agency's head of new business for Europe and Africa, Steven Colgrave, said the advertising sector was suffering from the number of people leaving to work at internet businesses.
Amazingyou.com will launch in the next couple of months at selected UK universities. Its creators, Oli Barrett and Eren Ozagir, both broadcast students at Leeds University, are currently finalising funding of £250,000. The site is aimed at students looking to meet like-minded people on the web and at events set up by Amazingyou.com groups at universities. To help weed out the ordinary students from the "amazing" ones, members must be nominated and undergo a selection process. The move comes as Saatchi seeks to bolster its existing recruitment process.
Currently it operates a "milk round" strategy at various universities to hire account management staff for its bi-annual graduate trainee scheme, but says a fresh approach is needed to find the best staff.
Saatchi is not investing any cash in the project, but is consulting on branding and drumming up support from its major clients after being approached earlier this year by the two founders. Other companies being approached include recruitment site Monster.com as well as brands with a strong following within the student population, such as Red Bull. Although Saatchis is the only ad agency to be associated with the site, other company partners will have full access to the database of high flyers.
"We need to tap into alternative ways to find the talent of tomorrow," said Saatchi's Colgrave.
"Dotcoms are spending more time and money recruiting people, some of whom work in advertising. We need to find the right people before they're whisked off to work elsewhere."