The Book-Crit Business

Opinion and Insight 320 Add to collection
Grey London's Emma Thomas and Ryan Delaney remind up and coming creatives to not be defeated by the Covid-19 pandemic
The Book-Crit Business

Ryan Delaney and Emma Thomas at Grey advise up and coming creatives to take advantage of the virtual book crit scene.

You’re a young creative trying to get into advertising; portfolio packed, locked and loaded, full of ideas that are ready to set the industry on fire then erm..

.. cut to a world changing pandemic that puts a very firm hold on your plans. 

It’s fair to say, lots of placement schemes will be going through changes, pausing or maybe even stopping altogether. But we promise it’s not all doom and gloom. The industry will still be here for you when this is all over because young talent is the life blood of the industry. 

Way back in 2014, the lovely Dando & Dodd offered us our first placement at VCCP. Our work wasn’t 100% ‘there’ but we were keen and they took a chance on us. 

Whilst at Lincoln uni, we’d spent what seemed like forever trekking to and from London on the latest, cheapest trains we could; building our book but also building up relationships - because that was what was important to us.

Every team we met, we’d ask for a contact at another agency or even another one at theirs. We hunted down the people whose opinions we respected and did what we had to do to get them to know us (sorry if we were annoying).

Back to now, we’re in charge of placements at Grey, and although the landscape has changed, the principle is still the same. Relationships are still a huge part of what’s important to us. 

We look for two simple things in young teams: One-part talent, one-part good people. In equal measure.

Because let’s be honest, you can be the most talented team on the planet but if we can’t have a pint with you that’s never going to work. 

And the beauty is you don’t even need to see us in person to show you have these two things. 



Last week, we took part in the Young Creative Council’s ‘Co-Video Crits’, and the week before we were in SCA’s online studio. The Talent Business and Creature are launching the Cream Collective – a new mentoring scheme.

What we’re saying is; the book crit business is still open for business. 

So, that’s what we suggest for the next few months. Work on your book and build relationships. Email people and ask for book crits as normal. We’re all dab hands at being Zoomers, Teamsers, Facetimers or whateverers nowadays anyway and time is the one thing we all have on our hands.

Take full advantage of not having to traipse around London from agency to agency, save the train fares and enjoy not enduring the tube. Line up those book crits and build up those relationships.


So when the world finds its ‘new normal’, you’ll be fighting off those placements left, right and centre.

And if you’re already in the industry, you know what to do with all your free time.

Here are our emails to get you started: ryan.delaney@grey.com and emma.thomas@grey.com


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Grey , 2 months ago