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'Agencies are killing the creative industry': Marc Lewis on the demise of portfolio ad schools

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23.09.2021

What’s it like being the last of your species? As of last Monday, the School of Communication Art (SCA) found out, when it became the last portfolio ad school in the UK.

When the news broke that the Watford Ad Course would no longer run, many in the ad industry went into mourning. Was this the final nail in the coffin for the old-school model? Money had poured into other ad schools and in-house creative incubators, according to its revered programme leader, Tony Cullingham, who was at the helm for 30 years.

It was a sad day for Cullingham’s former pupils, a sad day in adland, and it was a sad day for Marc Lewis, the dean of SCA, who had to face up to the fact he was the last of a dying breed. Gone were the days where Watford and the SCA played against each other, in a rivalry akin to Spurs versus Arsenal.

“It’s a really scary time,” Lewis admits. Pardoning his French, the next thing he says is something along the lines of the industry "screwing" itself. “It’s damaging itself and causing ourselves so much self-harm while the consultancy world is eating its lunch,” he says, regretfully.

The week was not all "doom and gloom",........

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