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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent