School of Communication Arts 2.0

John Gillard, was a legendary adman and mentor to the likes of more contemporary legends such as Sir John Hegarty and Graham Fink. In 1985, he set up the School of Communication Arts, where he taught until forced to retire through ill-health some 10 years later. In Graham Fink’s words:

 “He was an unbelievable teacher, very unorthodox…he would leap on tables and sometimes talk so passionately that he would have to close his eyes. He got the best out of everybody. This country needs thousands of John Gillards.”

But John’s dream of creating excellence in advertising is getting new life, thanks to the efforts of Marc Lewis, a serial media entrepreneur and alumni of the original school, and the team of senior industry figures he’s already gathered around him, including Lord Bell, Rory Sutherland, Professor PY Gerbeau and the very same Sir John Hegarty. The new venture will be the School of Communication Arts 2.0 and will be open in 2010 to take applications from students vying for one of fifty places. Graduates of the School are expected to become Art Directors and Copywriters, with about 25% going on to be “Ideatreneurs”, or creators of new businesses in the media, creative or digital industries.

As well as a traditional fee-based structure, the School is also offering some highly innovative funding methodologies, which will be reinvested in Scholarships for up to 25 promising students a year. This includes a small investment fund for alumni, as well as recruitment fees it plans to charge employers – though agencies who actively contribute can enjoy preferential treatment when it comes to recruitment time.

 The School will be no academic ivory tower, with the emphasis on the Socratic case study approach honed by leading business schools throughout the world, supplemented by hands-on day release learning in leading agencies under the supervision of 200 School mentors.

 Right now the priorities for the School are to finalise the curriculum of a new National Diploma being developed and to recruit more mentors for the students – although over 50 leading industry figures have already signed up. If you’d like to help with either task and so contribute to the future of advertising, drop Marc a line at marc_lewis AT mac DOT com.