Once upon a time people were falling over themselves to get a job in advertising, especially in a glossy and high-paying creative agency.
They were a pretty diverse crew too: public school educated account men (mostly) but creatives drawn from the supposedly lower orders, chiefly art school graduates. But nearly all white men. Women were mostly confined to the nascent planning departments.
There’s more of a mix now, although the business is dominated by academic graduates, but it’s no longer as desirable. Other activities pay more and adland is still notorious for underpaying starters. Ethnicity is still an issue and there’s still a marked gender pay gap.
Agency trade body the IPA is trying to do something about it with the launch of ‘Step vInto Adland,’ a campaign from four TikTok creators – Benjy, Walid, Hannah Beau and Abbie Blyth – with the help of five agencies to attract more young people from diverse backgrounds into the ad industry.
The campaign will run on TikTok, supported by TikTok for Business. The agencies are Havas, VCCP and VMLY&R in London, Wavemaker North in Manchester and Leith in Edinburgh. Here’s Benjy’s take on agency life.
IPA president Josh Krichefski says: “To showcase the opportunities our exciting industry has to offer and to attract the best and most diverse talent of the future, we have to actively go where these individuals are.
“And, as the latest IPA TouchPoints data shows, with over half of 16-24s using TikTok – and for the best part of two hours a day – I believe there is no better way to reach an audience that wouldn’t necessarily come across our industry, let alone consider a career with us, than by teaming up with them and their influential content creators.
“In doing so, we hope to build a more diverse workforce that will expand horizons, offer new perspectives and grow our businesses.”
Kris Boger, general manager at TikTok UK, says: “Creators are the lifeblood of TikTok, so being able to work with them, the incredible agencies – who volunteered their time, office spaces and people – and the IPA all for such a positive cause has been a thoroughly rewarding experience and one we hope we can replicate in the future to continue to address a challenge that affects us all.”