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B-Hive 2017: Rewarding Future Talent

Posted about 7 years ago by Rob Markwell
105 The Winners

1 brief, 4 categories, 26 judges and 40 finalists: B-Hive 2017 was buzzing with activity.  

If you’ve not come across the scheme before, we set it up back in 2009, in the midst of economic meltdown, yet despite redundancies, recruitment freezes and the most challenging commercial climate in memory, we were fortunate to have extremely forward thinking clients, all as passionate as we are about helping identify, nurture and develop future talent.

Despite huge strides forward since the global financial meltdown, students graduating today have a difficult job getting a foothold in the industry. Through B-Hive, we’re committed to giving them an opportunity to do so and it’s always hugely exciting and rewarding seeing the level of talent coming through.

B-Hive’s primary focus is to identify future talent, but its dual purpose is to promote the outstanding work being produced by the creative and marketing teams of the best brands and agencies in the Midlands, thus showcasing opportunities on students’ doorsteps and limiting the talent drain to London. 

The process is simple. We set a brief (this year kindly supplied by our friends at McCann Birmingham) which is adapted across 4 categories: PR, Marketing, Design, Advertising (Creative). Students submit their responses, we shortlist the best in each category and invite them to pitch their ideas to a Dragons-den style panel of judges. Winners are then awarded placements. 

Advertising Judging Panel
Advertising Judging Panel

The B-Hive competition rewards the very best thinkers; it’s not an opportunity to giveaway work placements; the awards are based entirely on merit and the judges have high expectations. This year’s presentations were some of the best we’ve seen since we set the scheme up. All categories saw some outstanding presentations, with judges in the advertising category unanimous that it was the best quality they’d seen to date.  

What was particularly rewarding this year is that 2 of the Design judges were previous B-Hive winners: Phil Loveridge from the NEC Group, who was employed permanently by them following his successful B-Hive placement, and Olly Sorsby who set up Adaptable with fellow B-Hive winner Dan Cooper and are together building an exciting digital agency.

In total we awarded 89 weeks of placements to the winning students, taking the total number of placements awarded since we launched the scheme to 796 weeks, with an incredible 183 students winning placements and getting that all important first step on the ladder.

We’d like to thank each and every one of our entrants and congratulate our winners – you all did a phenomenal job!

An enormous thank also goes out to our judges for sparing their highly valuable time to take part and also to offer placements within their businesses, helping the next generation of marketers and creatives to kick-start their careers. In particular we’d like to thank our partners One Black Bear, who provide all digital and creative support for the scheme (watch this space for an exciting announcement regarding B-Hive’s digital presence). 

If you’re a student, lecturer or marketing/creative sector employer and you’d like to get involved with B-Hive, please drop us a line at

This year’s winning students:


Madeleine McCrann-Smith, Claudia Miguel


James Barnsley, Elio Delgado, Chloe Dudley


Rosie Clarke, Sam Myles, Abigail Bills, Claire Hollingworth, Ellea Fletcher, Jasmine Turton,  Aimee Chapman, Katie Eccles


Henry Bartonwong & Nora Hindi, Chris Wells & Will Upcott, Abigail Bills, Felicity Hall, Kimberley Anne Bishop, Bethan Dutton, Sam Neville, Aimee Chapman, Rebecca Palin

And our lovely judging panels:


Bright PR, McCann, One Black Bear, Spottydog Communications, Rewired PR, WPR, Citypress


Drayton Manor Park, Bauer Media (Free Radio), The NEC Group, Cogent, RBH


ORB, Adaptable, Alive, The NEC Group, 383, Imagination


Chapter, McCann, One Black Bear, Connect Group, bigdog, RBH

Pictures from the awards evening:

(Full set of pictures available here)

Ollie Purdom, Pitch ConsultantsRob Green, Colette Jeffrey and Vineet RahejaB-Hive Awards EveningMaddy McCrann-Smith - PR WinnerPitch Consultants TeamChris Wells and William Upcott