The Creative Circle opens free school to tackle advertising’s diversity problem

The Creative Circle Foundation

The Creative Circle Foundation is launching a free full-time school that will educate 20 creative students each year in an effort to address advertising’s diversity problem.

From September, the foundation aims to relieve students from the pressure of affording expensive advertising courses and plans to support students from outside of London with rent.

“There's a lot of talk about diversity and education at the moment. And that's all it is. Talk,” said Vicki Maguire, president of The Creative Circle and joint chief creative officer at Grey London.

“The hand wringing and the panels have to stop. The Creative Circle Foundation is the UK industry getting its shit together. We thrive on creativity and creativity thrives on diversity. For the future of our industry please get involved.”

According to The Creative Circle, just 9.9% of staff at Britain’s creative agencies are from BAME backgrounds. Those who want to get into creative industries face ever-increasing rents and living costs in London while gaining agency experience or studying. The course aims to give those who are less privileged the opportunity to break into the creative world.

There’s no specific academic criteria for the school, though students need to demonstrate creative problem solving abilities. Prospective students will be able to apply via an online questionnaire.

The 20 students will be taught over one year, kicking off with a 16-week bootcamp led by industry professionals. Two terms will be spent getting hands on agency experience, working on live and dummy briefs. At the end of the course students will receive a six-month placement at a top agency along with continued support from the foundation for an additional 18 months.

The Creative Circle is the longest running advertising awards body in the UK. It has pledged that 100% of all membership fees, along with 10% of the award entries, and any profits from this year’s awards ceremony at the Roundhouse will go towards funding the charity foundation.

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