Study Highlights Socio-Economic Barriers to Advertising Careers | News

UK – Quantitative and qualitative research commissioned by advertising agency VCCP and member organization Account Planning Group (APG) has highlighted the barriers preventing young working class people from pursuing careers in advertising.

Almost a fifth of young people (18%) surveyed said that not being able to afford to move to London prevented them from considering creative careers, with this figure rising to a quarter in some areas, including the West Midlands , according to the survey of 2,000 people. 16-24 years in Great Britain.

The research found that just over a third (35%) of young people from working-class backgrounds outside London know someone working in the creative sector, compared to over half (54%) of people from more privileged backgrounds in London and the South West. is.

The survey also asked about whether respondents could “see themselves building a successful career” in the creative industries, with 67% of those who knew someone in the sector saying they could. Less than half (44%) of those who said they did not know anyone in the industry said they did not see themselves pursuing a career in the industry.

The survey also revealed a lack of knowledge about what is required to work in advertising, with 27% of respondents saying they don’t think they have the necessary skills or qualifications.

Additionally, less than a fifth (23)% of ABC1 respondents in London and the South East could name a company in the creative sector, compared to 13% of those defined as being from the regional working class.

The APG commissioned Focaldata to carry out a survey of a representative sample of 16-24 year olds in Great Britain. Data was collected from a sample of 2,062 16-24 year olds between November 1 and November 8, 2022, with data weighted by age, gender and region.

VCCP commissioned the research as part of its goals to increase diversity within the ad agency. The study marks 15 months since the agency opened the VCCP Stoke Academy, originally set up to raise awareness and provide training and work experience for young people in Stoke-on-Trent. In recent months, the hub has also transformed into an office for VCCP, housing six employees and four apprentices.

In addition to the survey, VCCP commissioned qualitative research from The Outsiders to run a program of focus groups in Stoke and six other areas to understand what young people from working class backgrounds thought about their potential for success in creative careers.

The qual found a perception among young people in working-class communities that people who work in the creative industry are “middle-class, excessively ruthless and arrogant”.

Sarah Newman, Director of APG, said: “There are huge regional and socio-economic disparities that make brands and agencies impenetrable to great people who are disadvantaged by geography and lack of industry know-how. .

“We must redouble our efforts to attract the next generation of brilliant strategists, creatives and business leaders to our industry. This means big changes in the way we recruit and how we welcome and support new talent when they join the industry. It will bring a new diversity of experiences and thoughts that everyone needs.

Michael Lee, Chief Strategy Officer of the VCCP Partnership, said: “We have been concerned for some time about the shrinking pool of talent we are able to attract to an industry of which we are extremely proud. Great creativity has always relied on the ability to rely on a diverse group of people. Today, due to growing socio-economic barriers to entry, we are at risk of becoming a monocultural profession.

Lee added that the VCCP has used the research findings to make changes to its entry-level recruiting programs.

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