Faced with a chronic shortage of talented students keen to enter the business, the ad industry is getting some help from GMO/Hill, Holliday that goes beyond traditional internships.
The agency will open a branch of the Miami Ad School in its new San Francisco office. It will consist of a full-service classroom where promising advertising students can spend a quarter of their school year. The school is currently applying for a license to operate a two-year session.
"There's been a large outcry about how to get the best and brightest in the business," said Nancy Hill, president of GMO/Hill, Holliday. "We've found working with recruiters and young people that we need to find new ways to make this industry attractive."
The Miami Ad School was founded by former creative director Ron Seichrist. The school is located near Miami Beach and offers graduate-level advertising classes. The school operates in many ways like a traditional agency in that students direct spots, write ad copy and learn to manage budgets and work with clients. Its students can also study in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis.
The GMO/Hill, Holliday program will initially enroll six to eight students who will take night classes and work at the agency during the day.
Seichrist said school officials have long considered establishing a presence on the West Coast, and particularly in San Francisco, to leverage the benefits of the city's "vibrant" ad community.
Hill taught an account planning class at the agency this winter when she heard of the school's plan to expand to San Francisco.
"It become obvious we could help them by providing space in our building," she said. "We will have firsthand exposure to the students, and since faculty will be coming into our building we'll have more exposure in the San Francisco ad community." K