Ben Quigley
Different Advertising

Member Article

Newcastle's IPA agenices: Don't be a stranger

Newcastle has always been synonymous with creative problem solvers. From George Stephenson in the first industrial revolution to Jonathan Ive in the current era, Newcastle’s creative thinkers have consistently fuelled economic growth. However, today Newcastle is the furthest IPA English city from London. It has been adversely affected by the recession and overly reliant upon public sector jobs in recent times. And unsurprisingly in the advertising sector, there are fewer agencies around now than there were 5 years ago.

Newcastle’s current IPA agencies are embracing change. The city’s IPA agencies are flying the flag for excellence, always looking forward and asking, ‘what’s next?’.

Today’s agencies locate their HQ motherships in Newcastle but don’t just serve local clients anymore. Now they partner brands including L’Oreal, Bet365 and 32Red supported by technology, transport infrastructure and satellite offices located in this country and further afield. Having your HQ in Newcastle is no longer a perceived barrier to growth.

But specific challenges do exist in Newcastle that I believe City Heads can help to address: In this brave new world, I believe passionately that advertising needs to attract new talent and develop new skills like never before. To quote VCCP’s Chris Whitton, ‘More channels, more disciplines, more data, more unstructured creativity. All very exciting but with it comes an interesting question for us all: how do we attract the absolute top talent to our industry? Ask the talent officers at the biggest creative agencies and they will tell you they don’t have a problem with quantity, as graduate trainee schemes regularly attract four figure entries for single digit vacancies. But can we be sure we’re attracting the diversity of talents we need to maintain the health of our industry in the face of increased competition from outside?’ Speaking as the IPA City Head for Newcastle, located in the furthest ‘corner’ of England, I couldn’t agree more.

IPA City Heads aims to create a greater sense of community among members in major cities across the UK outside London and to help everyone get the most from the IPA. I’m all for that. So for me, in the next two years, City Heads needs to fly the flag for ‘excellence’ in Newcastle with a distinctly local flavour;

1. Promoting best practice locally to agencies and clients

2. Providing a mix of franchised national and local events for the ‘right’ people, promoting the benefits of knowledge resources and skills development to both current IPA members and prospective new member agencies and heaven forbid, clients !

3. Talent. Getting to grips with the city’s own unique geographical challenges concerning attracting, developing and retaining new industry talent

4. Tackling common agency bugbears including pitching, procurement and overcoming practical barriers to training

5. Promoting and showcasing the value of IPA agencies locally through its agencies

We’re not selling coals to Newcastle. Working to ‘glocalize’ the IPA for the local benefit of Newcastle and other UK city regions is what it’s all about.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Different Advertising .

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