Events: D&AD and WPP redesign the New Blood Academy for 2020, the most global and inclusive yet

LONDON, UK – The seventh annual New Blood Academy with WPP is a creative bootcamp for New Blood-awarded emerging creatives around the world – and it has never been needed more. Launching in September and led by global leaders in advertising and design, the two-week digital programme of talks, workshops and practical tasks will help bridge the gap between education and industry. Thereafter, attendees will be invited to join an ongoing global community of their peers and mentors drawn from the WPP network of agencies.

The redesigned format aims to democratise access to learning opportunities at a time when university and college experiences have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The WPP-sponsored Academy aims to help young creatives learn the skills and mindsets the industry needs, that are often overlooked by more traditional education.

When? September 7-18 2020
Where? Online, via Zoom, Slack and the D&AD Website
Who for?
– All Pencil winners (from the New Blood Awards 2020)
– Ones to Watch (wild card placements selected at New Blood Festival 2020)
– Alumni of New Blood Shift in London and New York (D&AD’s free night school for non-traditional, non-university educated talent)
– The wider New Blood audience (anyone and everyone interested in a career in commercial creativity)


Yellow, White & Black Pencil winners:
Access all areas to the interactive Academy experience. Live talks and workshops, group work, portfolio reviews, 1:1 mentoring and a collaborative live client brief. Plus join an ongoing digital network of peer and industry support.

Graphite, Wood, Ones to Watch & Shift alumni:
Access to all live talks and Q&As, tools and learning resources. Plus join an ongoing digital network of peer and industry support.

Wider New Blood audience:
Access pre-recorded talks and workshops from the Academy, published to our wider audience of emerging creatives.


Given the exceptional circumstances of this year and the challenges faced by those wishing to access our industry, a digital Academy enables D&AD to serve a more global need. Outreach can be more inclusive than ever before, whilst ongoing access to WPP’s unrivalled network of international creatives means working relationships can form, and opportunities present themselves, over time.

Tim Lindsay, Chairman at D&AD, commented: “The New Blood Academy is one of my favourite moments in the D&AD calendar and, given the current climate, we are delighted to announce that we are able to offer it digitally. The New Blood Awards programme is an excellent way to highlight some of the industry’s most exciting emerging talent, but it doesn’t stop there. D&AD believe it is important to continue offering the emerging cohort of creative minds a space to develop and refine their skills during the challenging months ahead. Thanks to our long-term partnership with WPP, our inspiring programme of talks, workshops and practical tasks will help forge lasting connections between fresh creatives and the industry and prepare them for entering the creative arena as it undergoes immense change.”

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer at WPP, commented: “Creativity and the work we do matters more than ever; it has the power to change perceptions, influence behaviours and build better futures for our communities. WPP and D&AD have always shared a commitment to build a diverse talent pipeline, and our redesign of the New Blood Academy will go even further to provide a professional network and platform that educates, inspires and stimulates the next generation of creative thinkers.”

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