London creative agency Lucky Generals has launched a scheme called The Barracks, which will offer lower socio-economic recruits free accommodation to help get a start in the ad industry.
The firm said that the majority of new recruits to the advertising industry are from higher socio-economic backgrounds. They also already live in, or can afford to live in, London.
Usually, they come from the same few universities or got their job through a friend or relative.
Lucky Generals said the scheme is a bid to begin reversing this deeply damaging trend; remove the barriers to entry for people from outside of London and from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; and extend the industry’s talent pool.
The new employment scheme targets people looking to begin a career in advertising by offering them a three-month placement spanning account management, research & insights, creative and production.
Recruits from outside of London will be offered free accommodation in a purposely rented flat paid for by the agency; while anyone from within London will have their travel expenses paid.
All recruits will be paid their first month in advance to help them settle into their new role.
Andy Nairn, Founder at Lucky Generals, said: “When I first came down to London, many years ago, accommodation was much cheaper but it’s obviously skyrocketed since then.
Difficulty for young people
“This makes it really difficult for young people even to get a start in our industry unless they already live in the capital or have wealthy parents.
“There’s no point talking about diversity if we don’t address some of the deeper-rooted barriers in society, that get in the way. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Barracks.”
Katie Lee, CEO at Lucky Generals, said: “If everyone thinks the same, come from the same place and has the same experiences, how can we move the industry on and how can we make work that gets us out of our advertising bubble?
“We are making all sorts of changes such as not incentivising introductions but to put our money where our mouth is, we are also introducing Lucky Barracks.
“With Lucky Barracks, we’re trying to make that change one person at a time and signal to anyone thinking of working here that we know what the industry needs to be brilliant and we are trying to remove some of the barriers that stop that talent coming in.”
The Barracks themselves will be located in Stratford, 7 mins on the tube from Kings Cross.
It will be filled with an Ammo box with welcome gifts and a guide to London; a Kitchen stocked with Yorkshire Tea and Taylors coffee; a Co-op food delivery to fill the kitchen on their first week; and Amazon gift card to add their own home comforts.
Areas covered in the role will include creating content, shoot running, creative idea generation, competitive reviews. They’ll also learn about handling social listening and cultural trends, secret shopping, client entertainment and meeting planning.
However, The Barracks is not just about being thrown in at the deep end. All recruits will be properly supported and trained through the process to ensure anyone with the right aptitude and attitude can shine and succeed, no matter what their background.
The initial approach is a blind recruitment process where interested applicants need to go to [include link] and register.
They will then be asked one question:
If you had £1,000 to pursue a mission of your own, what would it be; and who would you call in for backup?
The application can take any form, from a word document, an image, a film or a presentation. Even a song. But the application will be based on the content of the answer, not on the execution.
To ensure the process is targeting those from the correct areas it’ll follow Government recommended questions for determining socio-economic background.