Launch: edcom Thesis Competition 2018-2019

edcom launches the sixth edition of the Thesis Competition, which rewards the best Bachelor and Master theses on Advertising or Commercial Communications among edcom member schools. Each member can nominate one student in each category (Bachelor and Master) to send in their abstract.

The edcom Research Committee will assess the works in three judging rounds and announce the winners on 12 February 2019. The winners will receive a €400 cash prize and the participating school a €400 EACA voucher, which can be spent on the edcom and EACA initiatives.

Interested students should contact their edcom coordinator and send their abstract by 24 October 2018 to You can find more details about the competition and requirements here.

Ad Venture Student Competition Winner 2018

Vienna, 18 May 2018: The Winner of the Ad Venture Student Competitions 2018 has been selected!

This year’s edition of the Ad Venture Student competition has come to an end an we are really happy to announce the winner: Team LINK from Ecole Supérieure de Publicité (France)! The team has convinced the third round jury with their campaign entitled “In the name of the refugees”.With this campaign, this team aims to give people the power to make a difference. They will be encouraging the target audience to give refugees their dignity back by helping the reclaim their names. All this combined with a great presentation, had the jury impressed.

The winning team, represented by Sabrina Neveu, Fanny Marello, Ksenia Skorik and Raphaël Mochi competed against 90 other teams from 13 countries answering a brief developed in collaboration with the client, Amnesty International, which campaigns for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all, using research and activism to shine a light on abuses.

The three finalists – Team Coquelicot (Pantheon University, France), Team LINK (Ecole Supérieure de Publicité,France) and Team The Oxymorons (Leeds Arts University, UK)– were selected during two initial judging rounds and were given the opportunity to present their campaign to the final jury and the edcom members during the edcom May meeting at the FH Wien University in Vienna, Austria.

The students from the winning team, were rewarded for their hard work with travel, accommodation and tickets to the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity which will take place in June 2018.

The final jury, chaired by Sandra Alvarez (Spark Foundry), is composed of Monique Gerritsen (EPHEC), Sieglinde Martin (FH Wien), Barry Ferguson (Carat UK), Istvan Simon (Mama said no) and client representatives Emily Nevins (Director of Campaigns) and Philip Doyle (Communications & Campaigns Director).

Registrations for the next Ad Venture Student Competition will open in autumn 2018.

Organised by European Institute for Commercial Communications Education (edcom) and The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), Ad Venture is the first Pan-European competition which gives students the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in advertising by creating their own campaign in response to a brief from a real client.

For further information, please contact or visit the webpage of the competition.

Redressing the decline of youth achieving employment within Europe’s advertising trades

The European Institute for Commercial Commnucations Education (edcom) is currently conducting a research study that intends to be the starting point of a two year project aiming at redressing the decline of youth achieving employment within Europe’s advertising trades. The pan-European research focuses on the problems and needs of the students, graduates, young professionals, academics and agencies in the field of commercial communications, and consists of several in-depth interviews with representatives of each of the target groups. Hereby we introduce some of the reflections we have received from the interviewees, hoping that an open and sincere debate among different agents will lead to a common front to solve the problem.

Commercial communications students

All commercial communications students interviewed consider a job in the advertising industry because they would like to practice what they love doing, because they believe it is a big opportunity for both creative and analytic people, and because it offers an environment full of “amazing” people from whom they can learn things by stealing their craft. They felt encouraged to study commercial communications because they want to become like the people they know from the industry (competitive and skilled) and because it is a challenging field.

They believe graduates from commercial communications degrees are hired because of their persistence, bravery, skills, creativity, enthusiasm for the job (which comes out of passion) and their will to learn fast and be as efficient as they can. Creativity, they say, is not only useful in the creative department, but also in the process of making a business work at its full potential. Also, they state graduates have a better understanding of how agencies work because of their studies, but also by the academic internships they have done. Overall, the skills they think agencies value in a future employee for a graduate role are creativity, self-control, self-confidence, social intelligence, artistic intelligence, organisation, charisma, consistency, stubbornness and determination. All interviewees believe their own profiles are attractive to future employers in advertising.

Apart from that, interviewees state that there is a gap between the graduates’ expectations and what happens in real life. The advertising industry, they say, is one of the most attractive industries and everybody sees the best part of it (fun, creativity, awards, success, money, etc,) but not necessarily understand how much hard work is behind it, and how frustrating and difficult it can be to work in. Interviewees also mention that certain students think that internships are a waste of time and consider extra time at work to be a form of exploitation, and do not see the benefits it offers in the early years of their careers. Moreover, they believe that the reason why some graduates do not get hired is because they are not passionate enough about advertising, and because sometimes they are not willing to assume responsibilities. To work in advertising, one student says: “you need to be very passionate, ambitious and stay focused on your way.”

All the interviewees state that their current degree does not provide them with all the necessary skills to start working immediately in advertising. They say professors tend to offer theoretical knowledge only, and that practical workshops and certain digital tools are for beginners, forcing them to learn at home how to properly use these tools for professional purposes. One of the interviewees states that through her studies she has significantly improved her strategic thinking in advertising. When asked what would they like to see differently in their curriculum, degree, university or education programme, their answer is more practice, more updated content, more workshops, competitions, professional encouragement from advertising agencies, conferences with people and positive examples of advertising, summer and winter internships, more classes supported by industry people and practical courses in advertising agencies.

Regarding initiatives to be undertaken by universities to encourage employability in the advertising industry, students insist on having more workshops, internships, close collaboration with advertising industry, conferences, open doors sessions for students, and interactive workshops. They appreciate universities invite keynote speakers on a regular basis, which is interesting for both parties to boost collaboration and create a positive impact to students and professionals. One of the students expressed his dissatisfaction about the importance that is given to theoretical knowledge and the need to memorize concepts by heart, and states: “we are not really encouraged to express our own vision of a subject.” When inquired about initiatives, agencies should firmly grasp to encourage employability, for instance by recruiting students through competitions or by performing practical exams and keep monitoring their skills and performance. The  idea of a formal job interview is appalling to young people. “Some of my colleagues are not self-confident because of their own timidity to face a formal job interview,” one student adds.

The interviewees state that the creative hub should pay more attention to new generations and get to know them better. Unpaid internships, they say, can be very frustrating if they do not guarantee being hired after trial period is over. In their opinion, agencies should rethink internship programmes, which should be seen as a period of accommodation for the trainees prior to a selection carried out by agencies. These students believe that the best candidates should stay in the programme, even if it means being paid less than a standard salary, but which will encourage them to stay motivated. Also, they see the need of being aware of hiring possibilities and new platforms (such as IQads) that regularly announce jobs in agencies, creative events and festivals. They all manifest true interest in networking, and they believe it is good for students, but also for the agencies, as it gives them the opportunity to better understand the students’ expectations.

To sum up, the interviewees believe that a good university lecturer in commercial communications should have excellent oral and creative communication skills and emotional, artistic and social intelligence. A good lecturer should also embrace the differences between all students, not making them feel like they are not good enough, and encouraging them to overcome their fears and develop their horizons. Some teachers, they say, tend to only teach theoretical courses and do not pay attention to a student’s real needs. Students ask for more accurate and up-to-date facts, more case studies, new trends, and lectures that can help them develop their capabilities to analyse ads and campaigns from a business, strategic and creative point of view.

Commercial communications graduates, interns and young professionals

Commercial communications graduates, interns and young professionals interviewed have different opinions regarding the level of difficulty of getting a job in the advertising industry and have experienced different processes from being students, into graduating and finding a job. Some of them believe that the advertising industry is dynamic and that there are enough job opportunities, while others state that, even though it is easy to find an internship position, it is hard for young professionals to consolidate a job. All of them did an academic internship as part of their study programme, which gave them more confidence and knowledge. One of them was hired by the agency at the end of the internship period, and the two others were not. From those, one is currently looking for another internship, while the other is working for an agency, after having dedicated eight years to another profession.

Interviewees state that there are many graduates with a different degree rather than commercial communications working in advertising industry (graphic and web designers, computer engineers, economists, business administration graduates, marketing graduates, etc.). In their opinion, the reason behind this is that a degree in commercial communication is too generic and theory-based, and that certain topics are not covered enough, such as digital communications. They also mention that some agencies may have the wrong preconceptions regarding the true potential of commercial communication graduates, believing that graphic and web designers are better for creative positions, and marketing and business management graduates are better at numbers. However, the interviewees believe these preconceptions are not accurate, and they revindicate the global perspective they bring to the agencies, and the quality they bring to their contents.

Interviewees believe that universities that educate commercial communications should update their curricula and use a more practical approach. They say that some of their professors at university lacked training and were outdated, and they appreciate the performance of certain associated professors who worked in the industry and brought relevant and updated contents into the class. The interviewees noted that their curricula were focused a lot on creativity, but not too much on other aspects such as media, digital communications, business management or marketing. They also expressed that in their education, they lacked some knowledge about the everyday reality of agencies: different job positions and tasks, general strategies, how to prepare budgets, how to use Excel, how to select the mediums and media, metrics, etc.  Overall, most of the interviewees state that the contents provided by their universities were not sufficient, and that at the beginning they felt quite incompetent in their professional roles because of their degree. Finally, they believe that universities should include more and more diversified internship opportunities in their curricula, that those internship periods should start from the first academic year and that they should be with agencies who are committed to train and hire young professionals.

According to their beliefs, the interviewees feared that some agencies are not using the internships to seek and train talent, but to get cheap or free labor. Apart from that, they state that some of the internship positions are abusive in terms of hours and responsibility, and therefore some changes in the legislation would be required in certain countries. In their opinion, agencies should stop taking advantage of the situation and become more socially conscious by giving a chance to those who performed well during their internship. They believe agencies should see the trainees as possible future employees, appreciate their potential and train them the best possible way so they can be hired at the end of the internship. However, interviewees believe that when agencies need to hire someone, they normally go for someone with a more experienced profile, creating a vicious circle for young professionals, whose lack of experience blocks them from being hired and get the experience they need. In general, interviewees believed that agencies tend to give a lot of value to the experience of the candidate, and do not appreciate as much any of the other aspects that young professionals can bring to the table, such us openess for change, commitment and the capability to adapt.

As for the initiatives the interviewees took or could have taken to encourage their own employability, they mention the importance of staying up to date through training on a frequent basis, being proactive in the search of agencies who are hiring young professionals, and never stop creating contents and participating in contests which could enlarge your portfolio and curriculum.

Top Three Ad Venture 2018

After two rounds of intense analyzing and grading, the jurors have selected their top three teams of the Ad Venture Student Competition 2018! The competition received 90 submissions, of which ten teams advanced to the second round. The three campaigns which deserved a seat in the top ten are (in no particular order):

Team Coquelicot (Pantheon University, France), “It could be you”

LINK (Ecole Supérieure de Publicité, France), “In the name of the refugees”

The Oxymorons (Leeds Arts University, UK), “Easier than you think”


The top three teams will present their campaigns to the final and third round jury, composed of two academics, two industry professionals and two client representatives on 18 May during the edcom member’s meetings in Vienna, Austria. The winners of the competition will be awarded with a trip to  Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2018.

For more information about the finalists teams and their campaigns, please click here.

Announcement Top Ten Finalist Ad Venture 2018

Ten student teams from across Europe have been selected to compete in the second round of the 10th annual Ad Venture Student Competition, organised by edcom (European Institute for Commercial Communications Education). More information about the top ten campaigns can be found here.

This year’s edition focused on a brief issued by Amnesty International, with the single objective to drive people to the iWelcome Community Platform which encourages people to take action against the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Following the announcement in September 2017, exactly 90 student teams – a record breaking number for this competition which has run for 10 years – submitted their campaigns in the hope to convince the jury of their creative ideas.

All campaigns have been judged by a panel of 60 jurors, including academics, industry professionals and client representatives who scored the campaigns based on research, creativity and creative media and strategy.

As a next step in the competition, the ten finalists’ campaigns will be examined by a new panel of six judges: two academics, two industry professionals and two client representatives. The jury will select the top three finalists, who will present their work during the edcom Member’s Meeting on 18 May 2018 in Vienna, Austria. They will have to justify why they should be the winners of the valuable experience of participating in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018.

The Ad Venture Student Competition was launched in 2008 and has been an invaluable opportunity for students in commercial communications to gain an understanding of what it is like to work in an agency and working for meaningful clients such as the European Commission, ESA, the European Women’s Lobby or Amnesty International. For any questions regarding the competition, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

A great response for a great cause!

This year’s Ad Venture Student Competition is representing a great cause: welcoming and helping refugees. The client, Amnesty International, challenged the students with their brief. The purpose is to drive people to Amnesty’s iWelcome platform and encourage them to take action and help with whatever they can.

And the challenge was accepted! 107 student teams registered in the competition, from all across Europe and 90 teams submitted their campaign in the end. These great numbers were high enough to set the record for the most teams entering the competition since the Ad Venture Student Competition was launched.

Willing to help, Marcin Trzepla a strategic planner at DDB&tribal Warsaw, shared the story of how one of the most successful Amnesty International campaign was made (the movie “Look Beyond Borders”). The aim of his blog, was to inspire the teams of students that were working hard to create their own campaign.

Today, 23 March 2018, the First Round of Judging starts. The international jury, composed by 20 Academics, 20 Industry professionals and 20 Client jurors, will assess the campaigns based on the following criteria:

  1. Research
  2. Strategy
  3. Creativity and Media

The finalists of this judging round will be announced on 12 April 2018.

After two other judging rounds, the big winners of the competition will be announced on 18 May 2018, during the edcom Meeting in Vienna. The winning team will be awarded with travel and tickets to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Stay tuned for updates about the progress and the stages of the competition!

Ad Venture is the first Pan-European competition which gives students the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in advertising by creating their own campaign in response to a brief from a real client.The student agencies work on an advertising campaign from October to March by incorporating everything they’ve learned in class and putting their skills to test.

Thesis Competition Winners Announced

And here they are! The winners of the edcom Thesis Competition 2017-2018!

After 3 rounds of judging, the jurors have decided that the following two entries stood out the most:

In the Bachelor category, Caitlin Brands, a student from Avans Hogeschool (the Netherlands), won with her paper aiming at closing the bridge between media agencies, advertisers and consumers. In the Master category, Patricia Oliveira from the Portuguese University of IADE impressed the jurors with her thesis on a communications device to control satisfaction with tourism and quality of life in urban cities.

In our blog post you can find a detailed description of what their research entails and why these theses were highly appreciated by the judges.

Both winners will be awarded with a cash prize of €400 and a €400 voucher for the participating institutes, to be used on edcom and EACA educational initiatives. The first round and second round finalists will receive a printed certificate to recognise their achievement.

The edcom Thesis Competition rewards the best Bachelor and Master theses on advertising or commercial communications among edcom member schools. edcom member schools have been very active and engaged in selecting their best students and submitting their thesis abstracts. This year, edcom has received 21 entries from 10 countries across Europe.

The next edition will be launched on 3 September 2018. For more information about the competition and future editions please visit our webpage. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us at, in case you have any other questions.

EACA Summer School wins GOLD for Best Association Training Initiative

We are delighted to announce that the EACA International Advertising Summer School has won Gold at the European Association Awards for Best Association Training Initiative during the annual award show in Brussels.

The European Association Awards recognises excellence and exceptional quality delivered by associations across Europe. The prestigious awards celebrate the work of individuals, teams and initiatives and highlight excellence in how associations operate and serve their members.

Originally designed to inspire Bachelor and Master students to make a significant step forward in their understanding of the commercial communications sector, the EACA International Advertising Summer School has grown to be a ‘must-go-to event’ for students and young professionals with a keen interest in the advertising industry.

During one week, participants are guided through the world of advertising and commercial communications by industry professionals whilst developing a campaign for a real client in international and multidisciplinary teams. At the end of the week, students pitch their campaign to an external jury who also provides them with valuable feedback and a certificate to recognise their participation.

The summer school was founded in 2010 and has hosted over 500 participants from across 20 European countries and beyond. As the demand grew for young professionals to receive training on the principles of advertising and commercial communications, the school started to focus on offering courses on topics of interest to agency professionals, ranging from how to pitch to a client, to trying out different brainstorming techniques and building a real Paid Social Media campaign. Students benefit greatly from the opportunity to experience what it is like to work with agency professionals.

Applications for the 2018 edition of the summer school are now open and will close on 15 May 2018. Please note, however, that registrations for the ‘Specialisation Day Workshops’ will be accepted on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, so don’t wait too long to book your seat!

More information about this year’s programme and trainers can be found here.
More information about the fees and deadlines can be found here.
More information about the European Association Awards can be found here.

Thesis Competition Second Round Finalists Announced

Congratulations to all edcom Thesis Competition Bachelor and Master finalists who have advanced to the final round!


Candidates passing through to the third and final round, will have their thesis judged based on the following criteria:

  • novelty (does the thesis offer a new and original insight)
  • scale (what is the magnitude of the achievement).

Each paper will be judged on a scale from 1 point (if it is not novel or has not a degree of scale) to 10 points (if it is a new and original idea or has a large degree of scale).

The winners of the competition will be announced on 2 March 2018.

Both winners will be awarded with a cash prize of €400 and a €400 EACA voucher for the schools, to be used on edcom and EACA educational initiatives.

The edcom Thesis Competition rewards the best Bachelor and Master theses on advertising or commercial communications among edcom member schools. edcom member schools have been very active and engaged in selecting their best students and submitting their thesis abstracts. This year, edcom has received 21 entries from 10 countries across Europe.

Best of luck to all the finalists!

For more information about the competition and future editions please visit our webpage. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us at, in case you have any other questions.

A day with Hogeschool Utrecht in Brussels

On 11 January 2018, we had the great pleasure to spend a day with the students and lecturers form Hogeschool Utrecht in Brussels!

The day started with a visit to the European Parliament where the students had the opportunity to meet Dutch MEP Esther de Lange. Ms. de Lange gave the students an overview of how the European Union works and discussed some of nowadays’ most boiling topics, such as the Brexit and the long lasting effects of the banking crisis in 2008. The students showed a great interest in the subject matter and posed intuitive and diverse questions, which didn’t go unnoticed by Ms. de Lange.

As the day went by, the group moved to Erasmushogeschool Brussel, one of edcom’s Belgian members who showed their support by hosting their Dutch colleagues. Here, the scenario changed as students took the main stage by delivering their presentations as a final assignment, observed by a panel of lecturers as jury.

We were pleased to notice that the main subject of their work was finding a creative approach to driving people to take action and play a role in the current refugee crisis, a the topic offered by our own Ad Venture Student Competition in cooperation with Amnesty International.

Teams Marhaban, The Perception, Jacasamako and Better Together presented different interpretations and responses to the brief. All four approaches had a different take on the matter, all of them very intriguing and innovative.

We were impressed by the students’ empathy with the issue identified by Amnesty International and we could see that they made a great effort to create excellent projects. As they were presenting their creative ideas, we were pleased to see how Ad Venture had motivated these students to deliver the best of themselves.

The students from Hogeschool Utrecht succeeded to touch the audience and to make us realise that when it comes to the refugee crisis, we could be the key to change.

The edcom team would like to thank Hogeschool Utrecht for their visit and wish you, and all the other Ad Venture teams, the best of luck in the competition!