Right course for admen to take

While it can take years to become fully conversant with the demands of multi-country advertising, a new course from the IPA may offer a short-cut.

SBHD: While it can take years to become fully conversant with the demands of multi-country advertising, a new course from the IPA may offer a short-cut.

When I wrote in this column of the growing need for agencies to identify and develop top level account management personnel to service pan-European business (MW November 25), I did not anticipate the level of reaction that my comments would provoke. In addition to prompting correspondence in the pages of this publication, I received a number of calls from colleagues and friends at other agencies.

Their response to me highlighted the implications of clients increasingly adopting international marketing and advertising strategies. The apparent shortage of international account handlers with the capability of meeting this fundamental shift, invariably prompted the following response: yes, clients are demanding international experts, but how do we provide these people when it can take many years of experience to become fully conversant with the demands and complexities of multi-country advertising?

In the long term it is imperative that the ad industry regains its appeal as one of the most attractive career opportunities for graduate high-flyers. The IPA has already embarked on a programme to address this issue and deserves all the support it can get from agencies

The IPA, in conjunction with the EAAA, is helping agencies sharpen their multi-country account handling capabilities with the updating and expansion of its already successful six-day accelerated learning course on international account direction. Specifically designed to help advertising executives involved in every aspect of international account handling (strategic development, brand-building, media planning and so forth), the course represents a golden opportunity for agencies to improve the performance of executives responsible for international clients.

The course will bring together some of the most prominent names in marketing and advertising – from both the client and agency side. Among the speakers and judges will be BA’s Derek Dear, Charlotte Pinder from PepsiCo and Renault’s Christian Barluet. Course tutors will include experienced international directors from a number of major agencies.

Most agencies will undoubtedly already have their own internal arrangements for training, but there is no substitute for wider exposure to clients and peers.

In response to the growing relevance of the course material, the IPA has agreed to make available some extra places. I recommend that any agencies which have not already selected one or two individuals to take part in this important industry initiative, do so before it is too late. ^

The IPA Ads Sans Frontiäres course will be held at the Foundation Royaumont, Chantilly, France, from April 24 to 29. Information is available from Miranda Kennett at the IPA. Tel: 0171 235 7020.

John Shannon is president of Grey International.

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