Advertising Unlocked 


Advertising Unlocked (AU) is the largest industry-wide open day in the UK. It is a unique opportunity for agencies to ‘unlock’ their doors to the next generation of talent, and for students to immerse themselves in the world of advertising. Once the IPA has matched an agency with a school/college, they work together to agree an agenda for the day. The activities can include workshops, career speed dating, responses to briefs, etc., that will provide students with an insight into the industry as well as provide them with the opportunity to learn more about the careers it offers. 

What is innovative about this initiative? 

AU was created in response to the industry workforce not representing the demographics of the British public. AU prioritizes placing students from state-run schools/colleges into agencies to introduce them to the industry at the point which they consider career options. AU emphasizes the breadth of skillsets required in agencies and positions advertising as a realistic career path, which it likely wouldn’t have been before. Unlike careers fairs or job postings, AU provides an immersive opportunity for students to work on briefs, pitch ideas, ask employees about their careers, and receive advice on entering the industry through CV-building workshops and internships. 


A total of 91 agencies participated in 2023, hosting 2,000 students across the UK. 89% of agencies who responded to the feedback form agreed they benefitted from participating in AU, with 83% agreeing to stay in contact with their paired school. 97% of responding schools/colleges agreed that their students learnt about a new industry, with 95% agreeing that their students are now considering a career in advertising. 2019 we gathered data from 588 students, of whom 45% weren’t from London, 45% were non-white and 73% agreed they were more likely to pursue a career in advertising because of AU.