WPP supports D&AD's New Blood Academy to help young creatives into work

5 Sep 2013

For fledgling creatives, breaking into the industry can be tough. Most are faced with student debts, high rent and unpaid internships – all before they even land that first job.

To help combat these challenges, we've announced a new partnership with WPP, to channel young creative talent into the world of work. WPP is making a significant contribution to the D&AD Foundation to help open up industry opportunities for those starting their career – part of D&AD’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of creatives.

By joining forces with WPP, D&AD is, for the first time, able to ensure that emerging talent is not only recognised but given a tangible reward for great work. A foot in the door to the industry – in the form of a three-month placement within WPP’s extensive network of advertising and design agencies – will be secured by the highest-performing academy graduates.

WPP will offer a substantial number of three-month paid apprenticeships, at agencies such as Ogilvy, JWT, CHI & Partners, Y&R, Grey, AKQA, The Partners, Landor, The Brand Union, Coley Porter Bell, Fitch and Digit. They will also provide a student brief for this year’s New Blood Awards.

In addition, WPP will back the New Blood Academy – a unique and intense two-week programme (taking place in July 2014) that bridges the gap between industry and education. WPP’s involvement will enable D&AD to curate a line-up of inspiring and challenging talks, discussions, hacks and workshops, designed to prepare a relevant, informed and skilled creative workforce.

WPP’s support is a tangible offering that puts industry at the heart of positive change. By joining forces with D&AD, WPP widens and deepens the reach of our initiatives, increasing participation in our talent programmes and opening up access for young creatives.

Tim Lindsay, CEO, D&AD, said: 

Talent is the lifeblood of our industry. It makes good business sense for agencies, networks and groups to invest in our future creative leaders. We hope that WPP’s backing will encourage others in the industry to follow their lead and help drive change in creative departments across the country.”

John O’Keeffe, Worldwide Creative Director of WPP, said:

I’ve long admired the work D&AD does with young creatives, so I'm delighted with this new partnership. At WPP we set great store by our creative product in all its many varieties and, from students to ECDs, the D&AD standard is the one to which we all aspire.”

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said:

Our industry relies on a constant infusion of creative people – of all disciplines. Without them we simply don’t have a business. D&AD does extremely important work in finding and nurturing young talent, and we’re very pleased to be able to support that.”


Valerie Holloway or James Gordon-MacIntosh Hope&Glory PR
+44 (0) 20 7566 9747 | [email protected]  

Feona McEwan
+ 44(0) 20 7408 2204 | [email protected]  

About D&AD
D&AD is a membership organisation, awards programme and educational charity representing the global design and advertising community. It aims to promote, stimulate and enable creative excellence, with a view to generating sufficient funds to provide material support to creative people around the world.

About the WPP/New Blood Programme
The New Blood Awards (previously the Student Awards) are a global, annual competition to identify the next wave of emerging talent. Entries to the New Blood Awards for 2014 open in October 2013. The winners receive a Student Yellow Pencil plus the chance to gain a place on the much sought-after New Blood Academy.

Beginning next July, the New Blood Academy is a two-week creative bootcamp and the ultimate New Blood Awards prize. It’s a unique and intense programme that builds on D&AD’s 51-year history of connecting education with industry, and is designed to prepare a relevant, informed and skilled creative workforce.

The highest-performing academy graduates will be offered the opportunity to participate in a three-month paid apprenticeship with a WPP agency.

About the D&AD Foundation
D&AD is an educational charity encompassing the world’s most prized advertising and design awards. All the money that is made from the Awards and other commercial activities support D&AD’s new creatives programme, to campaign for a better supported and better understood creative education system.

The Foundation will also fundraise directly and seek out grants and other sources of income. 


About WPP
WPP is the world leader in marketing communications. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising and media investment management; data investment management; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; and specialist communications. The company employs approximately 170,000 people (including associates) in more than 3,000 offices across 110 countries.

WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the third year running. WPP was also named, for the second consecutive year, the World’s Most Effective Holding Company in the 2013 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications.

The partnership with D&AD follows other WPP initiatives to support and develop talent, such as the longstanding WPP Fellowship programme and the WPP School of Marketing and Communications in Shanghai.