Marketing campaigns to lure back the best

A leading group aims to tempt top recruits to the industry by offering graduate fellowships, says Helen Jones

"The brightest and the best are going into management consultancy or banking, not marketing," says Eric Salama, director of strategy for WPP, the world's leading marketing services group.

In an attempt to redress the balance, WPP is this week launching the WPP Fellowship. This will enable five graduates to spend three years with the group: at the Henley Centre, at J Walter Thompson, the advertising agency, and at Hill & Knowlton, the public relations company, on a salary of up to pounds 20,000 a year and a permanent job at the end. Apart from consultancy, advertising and PR, recruits may work in some of WPP's other companies which take in design, research, public affairs and direct marketing.

Mr Salama says the fellowships will not detract from existing graduate recruitment schemes within WPP such as that run by JWT, but will offer a breadth of experience, whereas the JWT scheme offers in-depth training in the business of advertising. He says this broader training is necessary because "clients are coming to us with problems that don't need a single- discipline solution such as advertising or PR - they need both".

Last year, the group began a pilot scheme recruiting solely from Cambridge University. The successful applicants take up their places in September. This year, however, the scheme is open to all UK graduates; a similar programme will be run in the US for graduates with MBAs. WPP will be doing presentations at Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham and London over the next few months and will set up information kiosks at other universities. Successful candidates will take up their places in September 1996.

Mr Salama says he does not know how many applications the fellowships will attract - last year the JWT graduate scheme received 1,500 applications for 11 places - but competition is expected to be intense: "All the candidates for the pilot scheme were good, but we expect higher quality applications this year. Cambridge does not have a monopoly on bright people and we are casting the net wider."

The successful candidates will have to meet demanding standards. A good degree is essential, although Mr Salama says: "It is about attitude rather than class of degree. It will not necessarily be dependent on possessing a First - a lot of very bright people didn't get a First."

Age, gender and background are irrelevant, says WPP, but it is seeking people who are committed, intellectually curious, lateral thinkers and who can take a rigorous and creative approach to problem solving. Languages would be useful and applicants who have lived or worked abroad would be particularly welcome, because WPP operates across 77 countries. There will be opportunities to work abroad during the fellowship and afterwards.

In return, those who are successful can expect in-depth training across three different businesses and will have the opportunity to work with some of WPP's clients, including National Westminster Bank and Guinness. They will work in a creative, client management or planning role before taking up management responsibilities.

Mr Salama says there is no obligation for recruits to stay with WPP at the end of the fellowship: "If either side is unhappy, that is that. But we would be very disappointed if, after three years' investment, someone elected to leave. There are great opportunities within the group."

Written applications should be sent to: WPP Group Plc, 27 Farm Street, London WIX 6RD (0171-408 2204).

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
News
news
Voices
Anthony stopped due to the lack of step free access at Mansion House
voices
Travel
Blue Ghost Fireflies in Brevard, North Carolina. Blue Ghost fireflies are unique because they stay lit and only hover about a foot off the ground.
Photo Location: Brevard, North Carolina
travelGallery: The winner of National Geographic's photo contest receives $10,000
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Newly Qualified Primary Teacher

£90 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education is the UK...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

DT Teacher - Resistant Materials

£33000 - £34000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Technology Teacher (Resis...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?