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About NABS Fast Forward

This is our flagship 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. At the end of the course delegates will be able to ‘pitch like a pro’ by applying their learnings from talks by leading industry luminaries and accelerated pitch work to their day-to-day business management.

This paid for, London based, course takes place just once a year. Starting in the autumn, it runs every Tuesday night for eight weeks. It is strictly limited to 64 people. Participants come from the advertising and media industry and are typically chosen by their company as a potential future leader – with many companies sending several delegates.

Last year those taking part came from a wide range of agencies and media owners including adam&eveDDB, Spark44, Exterion Media and IPG Mediabrands.

“The NABS Fast Forward programme is a fundamental part of adam&eveDDB’s Learning and Development programme. It offers a valuable, collaborative and enjoyable opportunity for those who are at the early stages of their career to gain knowledge, practical skills and insight, beyond what they would experience through their day-to-day work. It also provides exposure to some of the most inspiring and influential people within the industry, and the opportunity to meet peers across a range of agencies and disciplines.” – adam&eveDDB

Now in its 20th year, Fast Forward was founded in 1999 by Jeremy Bullmore, the past 19 years have seen over 1,300 talented delegates take part and go on to progress their careers.

When: Every Tuesday from 4th September to Tuesday 22nd October

Where: Central London – hosted at number of industry organisations

Cost: £1,499 + VAT (includes all course materials and snack and refreshments at each session)

Book now.

Course Outline

Each week features a different topic where delegates will hear from an inspiring line up of speakers about the key aspects of the pitching process. 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).

  • 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
  • Gain a deeper understanding of a topical social issue. Every year we partner with a charity tackling a topical issue
  • 23 hours of IPA accredited training time

Visit the 2019 course programme.


Each team is supported throughout by two senior industry mentors from across adland. The mentors guide and mentor the teams through the process, providing valuable experience and expertise.

“The best people in the business get involved, even as a mentor I came away with lessons of my own.” – Clive Baker, managing partner at Movement London

As well as the support of mentors each week, delegates will gain amazing industry insight from a wealth of well-known brands and industry experts.

The Brief

We have been lucky enough to partner with some of the most recognisable public and third sector organisations in the UK, giving delegates a live, topical and high-profile issue to construct their pitch around. Last year we worked with CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which looks to prevent male suicide. Previous years have seen us collaborate with Scope, Stonewall and Liberty – to name a few.

The 2018 brief was for CALM saw teams competing to tackle a brief challenging the perception that being silent, is being strong.  The winning team – Team Malik’s campaign ‘Hear to Help’, proposed an innovative partnership with the music industry to generate awareness and behaviour change for millions. The winning team was mentored by Kat Arnull, head of strategy at Freuds and Clive Baker, managing partner at Movement.

“IPG Mediabrands has supported the NABS Fast Forward course for a number of years, sending our up and coming talent on this fast-paced and energetic training programme.  The course teaches essential skills for those wishing to further develop their careers in media, culminating with the chance to put the learnings into action through a practice pitch to a number of key figures in the media industry. Feedback from our past delegates has been incredibly positive with attendees stating that the course requires dedication and commitment, resulting in an engaging and informative experience that is invaluable to their careers.” – IPG Mediabrands

The Judges

On the penultimate evening you will pitch your 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, 2018 Client), Diana Tickell (NABS) and Verica Djurdjevic (PHD).