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Fast Forward

NABS Fast Forward is our flagship eight week training programme, designed to equip the industry’s future leaders with the skills needed to understand and implement marketing communications in a rapidly changing media landscape.

Now in its 20th year, Fast Forward was founded in 1999 by Jeremy Bullmore, the past 18 years have seen over 1,300 talented delegates take part, applying their learnings from talks by leading industry luminaries and accelerated pitch work to their day-to-day business management.

Course structure

This paid-for training programme runs every Tuesday for eight weeks in September and October and is hosted by a number of industry organisations in central London.

At the beginning of the course, delegates will be given a communications brief to work on in multi-disciplinary teams and on the penultimate evening they will pitch their strategic and creative solutions to a panel of distinguished judges. Last year, our judges were Jo Arden (Course Chair), Nicola Kemp (Campaign), Ben Hawley and Andrew Brown (CALM, our 2018 Client), Diana Tickell (NABS) and Verica Djurdjevic (PHD).


During the eight weeks the delegates will also hear from an incredible line up for speakers about the key aspects of the pitching process. The 2019 course will follow a similar structure to previous years. Last year we welcomed David Magliano (Warner Bros. Entertainment Group of Companies) and Uzma Afridi (NABS) to the programme, joined by Karen Blackett (WPP), Loz Horner (Lucky Generals) and Verica Djurdjevic (PHD).


Each team of talented delegates is supported by two senior industry mentors from across Adland. These mentors volunteer eight weeks of their time to guide and mentor the teams through the process, providing valuable experience and expertise.

In 2019 our mentors were:

  • James Appleby – PHD
  • Kat Arnull – Freuds
  • Clive Baker – Movement
  • Jo Baker – Google
  • Sarah Blackman – Karmarama
  • Grant Burke – Carat
  • Paul Carolan – Archipelo
  • Naomi Dunne – Mr. President
  • Elliott Millard – Starcom MediaVest Group
  • Chris Mitchell – OMD
  • Jemima Monies – adam&eveDDB
  • Tish Mousell – Tish Mousell Training
  • Alice Muir – 23red
  • Richard Smith – Wavemaker
  • Nicola Spooner – Unruly
  • Tom Patterson – BBH

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor in 2019 please contact Joanne Bolger, the Course Director.


We have been lucky enough to partner with some of the most recognisable public and third sector organisations in the UK. Last year we worked with CALM: the campaign against living miserably, and in previous years have worked with Scope, Stonewall and Liberty, giving delegates an invariably topical and high profile issue to construct their pitch around.


The benefits that Fast Forward gives to our 64 delegates are innumerable. Every year we assess the detailed feedback provided to us and annually re-evaluate the course to ensure it is providing the best experience to our delegates. Some of the key benefits of the course for young advertisers are:

  • Talks and learnings from a host of advertising’s most respected figures
  • A dedicated group of mentors offering hands-on guidance and expertise
  • An opportunity to work in pitch process conditions, culminating in the presentation of a fully integrated communications plan to a panel of distinguished judges
  • A 360° communications perspective, with the chance to improve confidence, leadership skills, presentation techniques and much more
  • The opportunity to finish the course with a deeper understanding of a topical social issue. Every year we partner with an organisation with a strong social purpose, so previous cohorts of delegates have learned more about public awareness and acceptance of mental health issues, the transgender community and people with disabilities.

Delegate profile

The course is designed for those with one to two year’s experience. Our delegates come from across the advertising and media world, typically at Account Executive to Senior Account Manager level.

Next steps

The cost per delegate is £1,499 + VAT, which given the quality of input and guidance is truly a worthwhile investment.

Please email Ellie Gerszt to reserve a place on this year’s course.