Facebook group becomes social hub for adland

A Facebook group, set up to give new advertising execs a place to network, has attracted more than 1,000 members, including some major names in the industry who have embraced the social networking buzz.

The 'Don't tell my mum I'm in advertising - she thinks I play piano in a brothel' group has enticed vice chairman of the Ogilvy Group, Rory Sutherland, and Keevill Barton Kershaw's creative director Simon Kershaw to join, alongside many other influential execs.

Ogilvy account executive Nick Fell founded the group in December 2006, after spotting a gap in the Facebook market for a UK-specific advertising group.

The group includes members from agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy, Fallon, The Leith Agency, Euro RSCG, Joshua, MindShare, TBWA, M&C Saatchi, Tequila, Lowe, Grey, McCann Erickson, VCCP, WCRS, DLKW and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Fell said he initially began it, "to provide common ground for those starting out in adland to meet each other. Have a bit of banter and maybe meet for a pint in the New Year". But the group has exceeded modest expectations, and has now become the UK's primary online networking space for the advertising industry.

Numerous industry discussions have been kick started by the group, and several companies are informally advertising jobs on the discussion board, including BD-NTWK and VCCP.

Membership numbers have rocketed in the last month in particular, mainly propelled by word of mouth. Fell has arranged regular social sessions, christened as 'Say Hello' events, to bring the virtual organisation to life.

Fell is currently on the Ogilvy graduate scheme, having finished his International Management with French degree at University of Manchester last summer.

He said: "As the membership of Facebook becomes more diverse, so does the composition of the group. The fact that there's no hierarchy means that people who have just joined the industry can share knowledge and engage in debate with those who have been around that much longer."

Fell is now working on ways to make membership more interactive, but is keeping the plans under wraps for the time being: "As well as our 'Say Hello' events, we're looking at other ways in which we can make the most out of this unique melting pot of skills and experience. Watch this space."

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