Last year's highlights

“I could not recommend a course more. Over the course of four days, we were broken down, sleep deprived, bombarded with information and, finally, brought together like crack units tasked with wowing the client, the judges and our peers with the best possible pitch. Perhaps the lack of sunlight and sleep resulted in mild Stockholm Syndrome, but I left the course elated, remembering how privileged we are to work in an industry such as ours.”

– Alex Cochrane.

The experience 

The Media Business Course is more than a course, it’s an experience. Over four days, we will escape to The Grand Hotel in Brighton to explore new frontiers and challenge conventional wisdom about media planning.

Devised for key emerging talent (from eighteen months to three years into their careers), whether from an agency, media owner of advertiser, through a programme of provocative talks, interactive discussions and unforgettable activities, MBC sparks new ideas and enlists delegates to solve a brief.

Delegates are divided into syndicates with an experienced agency planning lead and are guided through the process by tutors who rank among the best strategic media talent in the UK.

The syndicates are all given the same live blue-chip client brief and have to devise a full media strategy, and then pitch against each other to win the account. Throughout the four days, delegates enjoy thought-provoking and stimulating presentations from some of the best speakers in media and advertising today.

Final pitch presentations are made to a senior panel of client, agency and media-owner judges, and for finalists, the client who delivered the brief will be there in person to assess the four best responses. Every syndicate is given a full debrief on their performance from the judging panel on the final morning.

The agenda 

This will be no lazy getaway. Expect an itinerary brimming with activities designed to open your mind, lift your spirits and take you out of your comfort zone.

Inspiration & Planning: Wednesday 7 November


  • Matthew Hook, Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Karen Stacey, DCM

A good client brief is key to creating and delivering outstanding media plans. In this session, the most experienced planning minds in the business will inspire you and give you practical advice on how to interpret a client brief and unlock the right strategic direction to help make the hard choices you face easier. We have a great brief from one of the most admired and successful brands – by the end of the day you should be well equipped to make the most of it.

Speakers include:

  • Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy & Mather Group
  • Stephen Woodford, Advertising Association
  • Andrew McLean & Rebecca Burchnall, PHD
  • Tracey de Groose, Newsworks

Changing the Media Landscape: Thursday 8 November


  • Nigel Clarkson, Exterion Media
  • Jon O’Donnell, ESI Media

The range of media channels continues to grow at an amazing rate, giving brands more opportunities to engage consumers. The challenge is finding the best combination to engage the right audience at the right time and deliver optimum return for the client’s media investment. How will your recommendation deliver better results than the competitor? We have some fantastic speakers who will wow you with their ideas on how best to use their channel, and navigate the media landscape.

Speakers include:

  • Karen Blackett OBE, MediaCom
  • Mark Creighton, Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Simon Daglish, ITV
  • Nick Hewat, Guardian News & Media
  • Nick Hurrell, George and Dragon
  • Stuart Mays and Katie Bowden, Global
  • Glen Wilson & Gill Huber, Posterscope
  • Jane Wolfson, Hearst
  • Davina Barker, DCM
  • Ian Edwards, Facebook
  • David Wilding, Twitter
  • Jehan Shah, Google

Creativity and Media: Friday 9 November


  • Paul Carolan, ArchipelagoCoaching
  • Grant Millar, Zenith

Creativity is the ingredient that turns advertising into something capable of capturing the imagination of consumers and having a long-term impact. To truly stand out in a world of over-exposure, brands need to be inspirational not only in their messaging, but in the channels through which they choose to communicate. Creativity is also a power to be unlocked personally. Hear how new and established industry legends made creativity part of their success. Is the combination of inspiring brand propositions and creativity in media planning and execution at the heart of your pitch?

Speakers include:

  • Nils Leonard, Uncommon
  • Richard Eyre CBE, IAB
  • Bogdana Butner, Poke
  • Mr Bingo

Final Syndicate Presentations: Saturday 10 November

Having impressed the judges, the top syndicates will present their pitches to the client behind the brief and their fellow delegates.

Whose mix of strategy, media planning and creativity will propel them straight to victory?

Delegate info 

Hotel accommodation

You will be staying at the Grand Hotel – rooms have been allocated by the hotel and are unchangeable. Address: 97-99 King’s Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FW.

You’ll need to travel to Brighton in the morning of Wednesday 7th November. Registration commences from 8.30am on the Wednesday. The course will start promptly at 10.00am and all delegates MUST be registered by 9.45am.

Please allow plenty of time for your journey and registration. If you’re not getting the train but driving, The Grand provides private parking at £26.00 per day (this is not included in your course fee).

Course fees
Your course fees include accommodation from Wednesday through to Saturday morning, all business sessions, your meals, morning coffee and afternoon tea.

Should you require any further information then you can call Will Wade Mills on 020 7340 1100 or email his on

Advertising Association Media Business Course Grand Brighton

Get involved. 

Whether you’re interested in getting into advertising, joining the Advertising Association community or becoming a member.