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Universities could help the failing marketing industry

The marketing and advertising industry is suffering from a lack of talented employees.

As such, this week, the Association of National Advertisers announced a new initiative called the Talent Forward Alliance to identify talented professionals and support them in their careers – via professional development and continuing education.

The initiative will foster stronger partnerships with universities and colleges to raise awareness of marketing as a desirable career choice and craft professional development strategies.

The program will use mentoring and campus visits to attract candidates to the field. ANA is launching Pathways 2020, an initiative that aims to build relationships with 1,000 universities, 1,000 professors and 1,000 students by 2020. It includes a speaker program in which advertising industry professionals visit colleges; a fellowship program to encourage college professors to visit ad agencies and marketers; and, for students, a series of internships and immersive fellowships designed to offer real-world experience in the industry.

“Talent is the foundation for our future success and for providing the pathway that will lead to successful brand building, innovation and the advancement of business performance,” ANA CEO Bob Liodice said. “It’s the ANA’s strategic intent to reach out to all constituencies so that we can address this defining issue for our industry. It’s our responsibility to enhance our industry’s most important asset — talent — to energize brand and business growth."

Technology companies offering career alternatives is the largest challenge to recruiting employees, according to the most recent Association of National Advertisers report.

“As an industry, we are falling short in inspiring and preparing our next generation of talent and failing to invest sufficiently in building the capabilities of our current teams,” Liodice said. “The time for immediate and urgent action is now."

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