UK agencies welcome 2000 students for Advertising Unlocked careers open day

Providing agencies with an audience of new and diverse talent

Almost 100 agencies across the country opened their doors to nearly 2000 students as part of the IPA careers programme, Advertising Unlocked.

The scheme, which pairs agencies with local schools, showcases a career in advertising to schoolchildren aged 13-18, and provide agencies with an audience of new and diverse talent. This year, agencies hosted open days in 18 towns and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, with 40% of participating agencies based outside London.

Since its inception in 2017, nearly 10,000 school children have attended Advertising Unlocked open days, which typically see agencies run a range of practical experiences, from workshops, interactive discussions, demonstrations, tours, and creative challenges.

Activities during Advertising Unlocked 2023 include:

  • Working on creative and media briefs and pitching ideas
  • Interactive discussions and workshops on iconic campaigns, and on new tools and platforms, including AI and TikTok
  • Q&As with different departments to ask about the various roles
  • CV-building and career advice from agency staff

Watch the video with highlights of the day


Says Josh Krichefski, IPA President and CEO UK & EMEA, GroupM: "People are the lifeblood of adland. It is vital that we continue to make a career in advertising as attractive and accessible as possible to the next generation of talent. I’m delighted to see the industry working together with so many agencies around the country getting involved in Advertising Unlocked this year to help achieve this."

We are opening the eyes of nearly 2000 schoolchildren to the amazing possibilities a career can hold, and I can’t wait to see them take their first steps on that journey.

Josh Krichefski, IPA President and CEO UK & EMEA, GroupM

Speaking during Advertising Unlocked 2022, Gemma Smyth, Senior Planner, VCCP: "Advertising Unlocked is something that the industry really needs. We are struggling with recruiting new, more diverse young talent as we’ve been relying for too long on people coming to us. What Advertising Unlocked does is really show young people what the ad industry has to offer them, and what they can offer us."

Natasha, a Lecturer at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London said during Advertising Unlocked 2022: "Advertising Unlocked really helped our students engage with the creative brief that they were given. Students who are generally quiet in the classroom, had the opportunity to be vocal and participate in group work.”

Muna, a student that attended in 2022 said: "Advertising Unlocked has changed my views about a career in advertising. I thought that it just meant creating an advert and then your role is done. Knowing that you can work for a company that cares about and celebrates who you are is something that is amazing."

Participating agencies in 2023 include:

      • 23red
      • AMV BBDO
      • Anomaly
      • Ardmore Advertising
      • ASG & Partners
      • Bicycle
      • Big Cat Limited
      • BMB London
      • Bray Leino
      • Cogent
      • Cream
      • Creative Culture Limited
      • DDB UK (adam&eveDDB & cain&abel)
      • december19
      • dentsu
      • dentsu Manchester
      • Different Narrative
      • Ear to the Ground
      • Elvis Communications
      • EssenceMediaCom Manchester
      • EssenceMediacom Scotland
      • Factor 3 Communications
      • FCB London
      • Fold7
      • Generation Media
      • Genesis
      • Golley Slater
      • Goodstuff Communications
      • Gravity Global
      • Grey London
      • Havas UK
      • Here and Now 365
      • House 337
      • Hunterlodge Advertising
      • IMA-HOME Leeds
      • IMA-HOME London
      • JAA Media
      • Kinetic
      • krow Ireland
      • Leith
      • Leo Burnett
      • M&C Saatchi
      • i. Media
      • MATTA
      • MBAstack
      • McCann Birmingham
      • McCann Bristol
      • McCann Demand
      • McCann Leeds
      • McCann London
      • McCann Manchester
      • McCann Milton Keynes
      • Media Arts Lab
      • Medialab
      • Mindshare UK
      • Mother London
      • MullenLowe London
      • Omnicom Media Group UK
      • One Agency Media
      • psLondon
      • Publicis Groupe
      • RAPP
      • Recipe
      • Republic of Media Edinburgh
      • Republic of Media Manchester
      • Saatchi & Saatchi
      • Spark Foundry
      • St Luke's
      • The Beyond Collective
      • The Gate (MSQ)
      • The Grove Media
      • The Media Shop Scotland
      • The&Partnership
      • The7Stars
      • Total Media
      • Total Media Connect
      • TrunkBBI
      • UM London
      • VCCP
      • VMLY&R
      • WAA Chosen
      • Walker Agency
      • Walk-In Media
      • Wavemaker North
      • White Spider Media Limited
      • Wunderman Thompson
      • ZAK
Visit the IPA Talent and Diversity Hub
Last updated 01 May 2024