Agencies 'Crying Out' for more work-ready youngbloods - ADMA launches this year's Creative School and Suit School

ADMA-Dylan_Taylor-1845.jpegThe industry gathered for the launch of  'Crying Out' - collected images of Australia's top advertising minds as you've never seen them before, commissioned by ADMA to launch this year's Creative School and Suit School.

The two courses are a training ground for aspiring art directors, copy writers and account managers, developed by ADMA in consultation with the industry.

Creative School, now in its 7th year, is put together and delivered by award-winning CDs from leading agencies including BMF, M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy, MercerBell, Rapp/DDB and Clemenger BBDO.

Suit School, launched last year, is a collaboration with leading industry recruiters, Recruit Direct.

Both courses were created in response to a desperate need for more work-ready youngbloods in agencies - juniors who not only have enough hunger to force their foot in the door, but have the right skills to hit the ground running.
ADMA-Neil_Harris_Rapp21.jpegADMA-Simon_Bloomfield-1.jpeg"In talking to MDs and CDs, the message is that there's no shortage of people who want to break into advertising, but the enthusiasm isn't supported by practical training. So, there is a lack of the basic skills that you need once you land that first job in an agency. That's a problem given that senior management simply don't have time to mentor juniors any more - it's sink or swim," said Kate Furey, ADMA's Communications and Awards Director.

Using this insight as a springboard, Wunderman team Amanda Glover and Ben Peppernell, former Creative School students themselves, turned the idea that agencies are 'crying out for new talent' into a campaign.

Leading CDs and MDs from agencies in need of juniors were asked to show their desperation in shots taken by award-winning photographer Steve Greenaway of Pomegranate, with additional work from a team of retouchers at Limehouse Creative. The result is a startling series images which formed the basis of last night's exhibition and can be viewed at or view the PDF:

Pictured from top: Dylan Taylor from BMF, Neil Harris from RAPP and Simon Bloomfield from Ogilvy.

"The shoot was interesting to say the least," said Greenaway. "Everyone came with preconceived ideas as to how they should pose, but we reminded them of a lost pitch or a dead pet as Jeff Buckley crooned some somber tunes and saw some genuine raw emotion rise to the surface. They told us they walked away feeling weary and affected by the experience."

The idea is designed to be organic. During the event, images of attendees 'crying out' were also captured (see pics below) and are today being used to update social media profile pics as a demonstration of support for the campaign.

"These courses are run by people in the industry because they genuinely need new talent - so much so that they're willing to give up their time and share their expertise to develop it, so it makes sense to incorporate as many of them as possible directly into the campaign," said Furey.



Anonymous said:

Puntastic fun. I like it.

Anonymous said:

But agencies aren't crying out for more juniors. There is a glut of the little buggers which courses like this just make worse.

Anonymous said:

They're crying out for new talent or cheap talent?...hmmm? I think we all know the answer to that.

Marco said:

Dylan, best pic.
Did they break your Gevrey-Chambertin bottles to make you cry like that?

Curious AD said:

No tears? Could have helped.

Anonymous said:

Entry-level wages are shit-house. You get what you pay for.

Formal graduate programs offer nearly twice as much as junior ad-roles so where do you think the best junior talent is headed?

This won't fix a thing.

Marlon Brando said:


HDR said:

why does everyone use HDR these days? it looks so bad.

Stella said:

@2.49 - classic.

Anonymous said:

This is rubbish!

I fit this bill! I've got 7 months agency experience in London as part of my industry experience during my uni degree and then part time agency work while I finished my marketing degree for two years back in Melbourne. I've been knocked back by 3 agencies already, for $30 - $35K a year jobs!

Some of these AE roles want over 2 years experience, from where!? How much lower than a $30K AE role am i supposed to go!?

The problem is not under qualified applicants, the problem is Mad men & 30 Seconds... EVERYONE wants in!

I don't know who these agencies are that are "crying out for young talent" but if someone can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated!?

Anon said:

They're in Sydney...

Anonymous said:

what a load of utter shit!

Tom said:

Tell me about it....

Anonymous said:

The problem is beancounters pulling the strings, ensuring that agencies can only afford to hire for the bare minimum $$$, but those that are worth this salary don't yet have the skills that the role offered generally requires. Thus agencies get more than what they pay for.

Anonymous said:

@HDR (3:10)

It's not HDR. I was at the exhibition and Limehouse had a explanation of what they did to the pix. Very cool technique. Hats off to all. Great shots.

Anonymous said:

@3.34, maybe you're just not good enough. Only got "7 months agency experience" and you're already a bitter little fucker. Maybe you need to stow that ego shit and do what everyone else in advertising did - work harder and just keep trying. But with your mouth shut.

Anonymous said:

The problem here is there is no screening process... anyone can join as long as they got the moolah. Not really a strong endorsement for me, everyone else in the course coud be crap.

Anonymous said:

Oh my god, you're right, I'm shit, thanks for figuring that out for me :-)

Bitter might be your the taste of your coffee and how you feel when you look in the mirror every morning but it isn't Australian AE's.

Just trying to get my foot in the door.

Anonymous said:


You are an idiot.

It's that mentality which drives the best young talent away from agencies and into client land.

Anonymous said:

Why the fuck would anyone bother going into advertising when the hours have doubled and the pay has halved over the last ten years? The self-absorbed, hypocritical fuckwits sticking their mainly talentless faces in this article pay juniors less than they pay their cleaners and pay their personal trainers more than they'll offer a genuine senior creative. What drivel, you wankers. I want to punch you all.

Anonymous said:

17 comments and no-one has mentioned Jill Greenberg yet?

Anonymous said:

The technique is not HDR.

It's called Jill Hartman rip-off.

See here for crying kids:

Anonymous said:

Tell this to the 90 Award School students who don't get jobs in Sydney every year. Those Grad programs mean long hours for shit money. It's advertising, there's money, give these kids what they deserve.

Anonymous said:

Is this meant to reference Whopper Junior by CPB?

Anonymous said:

Ripping off somebody else's idea is a good introduction for young ones getting into advertising. It will set them up for a stellar career as an ECD. Shame, shame, shame.

Anonymous said:

Step 1: Save a decent sum of money - say 10,000
Step 2: Complete AWARD School - do it until you smash it
Step 3: Find a partner
Step 4: Throw a book together - this means adding some new ideas
Step 5: Apply everywhere for internships - this is where the extra money is required
Step 6: Keep doing internships until you're offered a full-time gig

This is a definite way in. Additionally, you won't be stuck paying off uni fees.

And one more thing, work your fucking arses off and keep your mouth shut. If you can do all this, you're on your way to working in an industry that will eventually pay well, help you to develop your creative skills in record time and allow you to work almost anywhere in the world. Like any high paying jobs, it's going to be hard to break into. Fortunately this stumbling block tends to weed out those with the wrong attitude. So adjust the attitude and go for it. I promise you wont regret it.

If have the money to do any additional course, this will surely help. But if you don't, save your dollars up first and you'll still have a good shot at making it.

5% Talent
95% Energy

Anonymous said:

@9:43 pm

Hear hear! But you forgot to mention spending almost as much on your lunches a week as the junior's whole salary.

The truth is once a junior starts working more than 3 or 4 hours "overtime" in a week, when you break it down the wage is less than what they would earn at McDonalds.

And we all have to be able to support ourselves - even juniors who haven't yet mastered the art of arse-kissing and fluffing around never letting anyone know what it is you're doing exactly.

Anonymous said:

A legit attempt at attracting new talent or a chance for shameless CD self promotion?

Anonymous said:

For the creative department:

In reality, advertising is not a creative environment for 90% of the creatives working in the industry. Agencies don't really want talent, they want a sucker who will take the smallest salary possible, who will just shut their mouth and sit on the tools all day doing boring layouts. Garbo's get paid more than an art director with 6 years experience. Go figure.

Anonymous said:

In 1995, I got my first job as a junior writer. (Yeah, I'm old, get over it.) I was paid $30k. In that time, housing prices in my home state have quadrupled as has most likely everything else, including agency and client expectations. The only thing that hasn't increased is what they pay us. These days if I was a kid prepared to work hard and wanting to go places, advertising would be on the bottom of my list. Unless you own an agency, there's nothing in but long nights, job insecurity, slave wages and frustration at the ads you're not allowed to make. Screw it. Let them have Brand Power, if that's what they want. Like they say, the client gets the ad thay they deserve. I'd rather have a life and a living wage.

cockinafrockonarock said:

so much bitterness... it seems a lot of these comments come from extraordinarily ignorant juniors, who have as of yet failed to develop a nuanced view of the advertising industry. Firstly; it is just that - an industry, like any other. Clients pay for a product - creative or strategic or a lovely marriage of both, all wrapped up in a sparkly office with beautiful staff. There are great days, when an agency produces and presents a mesmerising, inspired and inspiring response that combines stellar strategy and creative savvy to answer the brief, and sometimes even exceeds it. There are shitty days, when clients are forced to bin outstanding ideas because of political tomfoolery on their side. As with any job, you generally start at the bottom. The wages are generally shit. You generally work your arse off, for ridiculous hours, and little thanks. But as you go, you soak up every little piece of information that comes your way. That's not about being a good suit, or a good creative - it's simply about being alive and seeking knowledge. If you are lucky, you will be surrounded by people of such incredible talent - both suits and creatives - that you will be driven to push yourself to the limit of your capability, and you will be astonished at what you can achieve. You will laugh, cry, talk, think, shout and drink, drink, drink with people who will become lifelong enemies or closest friends. And before you know it, you will be steering the next generation of juniors, as you'll be the senior creative or suit. Stop whinging, get your head down and work. If you expect to do anything less than that, you are looking in the wrong place. Yes, this can be a cruel, dark place to be some days. But it also gives you the most amazing highs, and happiness on a level it's tough to find elsewhere in the world of work.

Anonymous said:

AWARD school and Campaign Brief commenters have convinced me that I should go into strategy, not creative.

Thanks guys!

Concerned citizen said:

@ cockinafrockonarock

Well said. Some rational thought after all.

There does seem to be a plethora of negativity about the relationship between an industry looking for new juniors and the new juniors looking to get in.

Take it from someone running an agency. I participate in the course because it IS hard to find new talent. Sure, there's no shortage of juniors wanting to get in, but there's a difference between an eager, starry-eyed wannabe and an eager, starry-eyed wannabe who has been put through their paces in a course like this and come out proving they have the goods to hit the ground running. And run they will.

Which brings me to the root of many of these arguments. Yes, juniors work hard on a low-level salary. Is there an industry in which this is not true? Do we bitch about the building industry because a young trade apprentice is on minimum wage and hauling bricks? No. Or is it unfair that someone who decides to be an actor has to schlep around begging for a role for years before they finally get a break? No. If you choose a certain career, you choose the industry. YOU choose.

We all know the world is a tougher place. But while 90% of Gen-Y and iGen bemoan the low salaries and long hours, the remaining 10% are doing it. They're the ones who will make it. Like those who are creating the occasional great ad or running agencies today. They worked hard to get where they are. You don't get handed an opportunity. You make it.

You do a course. You meet people. You take an offer. You eat baked beans. You work hard. You get a break. You earn a big career.

Or you can have a whinge on a blog, while someone else is taking the job you somehow thought should be handed to you on a silver platter.

Again, you choose.

Anonymous said:

@concerned citizen

Shit analogy with the builder there mate. They get paid pretty good penalty rates on top of their low-level wage (not salary - wage, as in per hour) as an incentive.

Anonymous said:

Some good advice here actually. Hopefully those who want it are picking through it.

When I was a junior we didn't have the blog (actually, the internet didn't even exist - settle down, it was only 1993). The only way I got any advice about advertising at all was by organising an appointment with an already employed creative type - be it Senior, a CD or even just someone working - I saw them all. Luckily, one of those countless chats got me a job driving an MD around who had a busted leg, in his old Porsche. It was great fun. And yes I did indeed, I ended up in the creative department on a crumby salary when he was out of the plaster cast. Anyway, my point is that while the web pumps out endless info about our industry, you actually can't beat walking in to an agency and seeing a dude and picking his brain (don't confuse a 'chat' with asking for a job! Believe it or not, it's a time honoured tradition). As 12.30pm said, this industry is what you make of it. You have to work hard to get going. The people I know who worked the hardest are now, by far the best at it.

Anonymous said:

@concerned citizen - You don't know any young tradies do you?

I agree with everything else you said though. Work hard, get paid peanuts as a junior. That's all good. It's unreasonable to expect to get into an industry like this paid more than minimum. What would happen if the entry level was 50K? There would be many many more folks going for the same job and some surely for the wrong reasons.

But to get back on topic.

There's no benchmark here for this course, pay and rock up? I guess it would help if you had the spare cash and nothing else to do. But isn't that what award school is for? Alot of people come out of that with no job, and people fight to get in there. Or I'm missing something.

If nothing else, at least all those industry CD's got to have a lovely night out together.

cockinafrockonarock said:

@1.37, you are bang on. It's not possible to beat a good old fashioned connection with another human being. Despite, or perhaps because of, the technology we have at our fingertips, human connection - by which I mean face to face, same timezone, same place, same room...cannot be beat. As a junior, my first CD initially refused to see me on the grounds of a lack of experience. But I kept pushing and by then had also met with someone else at the agency, who I built a great rapport with, and who knew I was willing to put in the hard yards in return for a foot in the door. So, they helped me get in to see the CD, and we clicked. So I got a break. Which I was hugely excited by. And what I'm sensing in a lots of these discussions is a lack of that excitement - it feels as though maybe juniors think they deserve to start on a higher run than they are being offered. Maybe I've missed something. For me, the tentative relationships I built before I even started got me through some shithouse times as a very junior junior, and as I started to learn about what I was doing, and gain experience, I also connected with some other great people - creatives, suits, and clients.

As for low wages, I don't think we're yet discussing the issue as a whole. Yes, starting salaries can be laughable. Mine was. But I still got to meet some truly, genuinely awe inspiring people, (as well as a lot of dickheads, but isn't that half the fun?),travel to amazing places, drink a ridiculous amount of free booze and learn enough new stuff to make my head very nearly explode. OK so I'd be lying if I said that sometimes when I was in the office at 9pm after a 60 hour week, and I didn't have enough money to go away for a weekend to cheer myself up, I didn't whinge about my wage.

But here's the thing - as @concerned citizen said.. we all choose to be here. This campaign isn't about poaching potential brain surgeons away from their life course. It's being aired in the appropriate mediums, and places, for people who are interested in this industry to see it. If you look into it, and decide the wages aren't good enough, and you are narrow minded enough for that alone to turn you off - then go elsewhere. I very much doubt you'll find another industry where what you do matters so much...but really so little, and therefore your purpose is essentially to create and share great, fun stuff with others.

Anonymous said:

Concept and especially art direction is amazingly so much like Jill Greenberg's idea.

also check out Rosemary Laing's crying series:

Anonymous said:

How about Sam Taylor Wood's "Crying Men" series?

Anonymous said:

Ad agencies suck!!!

Anonymous said:

If you're doing advertising for the money, you're in the wrong job.

If you're doing advertising because you love great ideas and you're prepared to work harder than everyone else, the money will follow.

Some advice David Droga gave a cock-sure wanna-be junior many years ago who is lucky enough to wake up every day and work in a cool office for a nice wage.

Suck it up. If you don't enjoy it, shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said:

Making things look beautiful all day sure does look ugly.

Anonymous said:

There are some great comments here, but I think there's a pretty important part missing.

It's not really the industry: it's the school system.

I'm a junior creative. It took me damn close to a year to land a full-time job, but I finally did and I love my job. I even have a somewhat reasonable salary. But there's a huge caveat:

The enormous student loans I'd accumulate that would basically render me a dependent until I'm middle aged.

Ad school is turning advertising into a business that only rich kids can break into. I really don't think it's the Agency to blame. It's the bullshit "education." And let's face it: for creatives, particularly writers, is glorified kindergarten that teaches you little more than the vocabulary necessary to impress future colleagues at industry mixers.

It SHOULD take hard work, time and tears to get into the industry. But it should not take an 80 grand (cumulative, including rent in expensive cities and far-away internships without the time for a part-time job) "education" that doesn't even give you the decency of a degree.

A new ad school is the last thing advertising needs.

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