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One of the world’s leading advertising agencies, McCann return this year as a BDF supporter

We’re excited to welcome back McCann this year as Event Partner for our Saturday evening main event Process: Layers.

At McCann Birmingham we’re all about creative community, which is why we’re proud to continue supporting Birmingham Design Festival – one of our favourite events in the local creative calendar.

We’re a 250-strong team of designers, copywriters, creatives, strategists, researchers, PR pros, social media experts, media professionals, producers and marketing specialists centred around a common vision – to help brands earn a meaningful role in people’s lives.

Our people are at the heart of everything we do, so we’ll leave it to two of our brilliant creatives, Liddie Harper and Darcy Blewett, to share more about their journey with McCann…

What’s your role at McCann Birmingham?

Darcy: Hey, I’m the Darcy, in the Liddie and Darcy creative team. You could say I’m also the wordy part.

We snuck our way into McCann Birmingham just over a year ago as creative interns and we’ve been providing a wide range of office snacks ever since. As a creative copywriter I spend 70% of my time thinking, chatting, and laughing at how funny Liddie and I think we are. And the other 30% of my time crafting words that sell ideas for our range of fantastic clients.

Liddie: Hey, I’m the Liddie in the Liddie and Darcy creative team at McCann Birmingham. You could say I’m not the wordy part (which is why I copied Darcy’s opening line for this question). I’m the Art Director, which means I’m in charge of visualising our ideas with scamps, reference images or anything that will give our ideas a look and feel. Together we sit, discuss, bicker and laugh, trying to find original ideas for our clients.

What does a normal day look like for you?

D: A normal day starts with coffee. A lot of it. Iced Oat lattes are very advertising. We then get into our brief of the day, and you never quite know what it’s going to be.

L: After 5 minutes of deciding we have no idea what’s going on, we start thinking of ideas of how we can bring this brief to life! This can be for anything, from social posts to TV or Radio scripts, to pitches for new business and so on. There really isn’t a normal day at McCann, so it’s nice I have a partner in crime to figure it out with along the way.

How did you get into advertising? What was your journey?

L: If I’m being totally honest, I never thought I’d end up in advertising. I did theatre and production design at university and in my own time did a lot of drawing and painting. Advertising just hadn’t crossed my mind.

But when I was looking at doing a Masters, I was drawn to how creative this industry is. How much there is to learn in terms of design, TV, film, radio, social media. The sense of accomplishment when you find a great idea and think ‘yup, that’s the one’. It’s hard and can be frustrating, but you’ll never run out of things to learn about, play and experiment with here.

D: Let’s throw it all the way back to 2021, a wide-eyed English undergraduate not quite sure of what to do next. Which spiralled into looking at a panic Masters. Luckily there was an option which piqued my interest, Creative Advertising. Maybe my degree could be useful after all. This is where Liddie and myself met, like a couple of star-crossed platonic besties destined to go into the world of advertising. And like they say, the rest is history, full of book crits, LinkedIn connections, pints at the pub, and begging for creative placements.

What advice would you give to anyone starting their creative career?

L: I remember when Darcy and I had left uni and were knocking on doors asking for Book Crits and begging for placements it was hard to remain optimistic at times. It’s tough and brutal out there. But if you want it hard enough, it’ll find you. Speaking as someone who very recently would have rolled her eyes just as you are now, believe me, you’ll get there, just have faith in the process. You don’t have to be the best, you have to want it the most. You also have to let go of your fear of looking a little silly. People aren’t going to like all your ideas, it’s just a given, but the more you risk with your work, the more you have to gain. Oh, and be nice. Always be nice.

D: Everyone has been where you are now. You’re not alone. Some days you’re going to want to throw in the towel, it for sure feels easier. But keep saying hi, keep making connections, keep going and it’s guaranteed to pay off in the end. Think about the great paragraph you can write for an article in a year’s time. Oh, and as an honourable mention, find out everyone’s favourite biscuits and use them as bribes to look at your work.

Where will we find you at BDF?

L: At Process: Layers and Art and Anxiety: trust the process. See you there!

D: You’ll find me at We have no process, Sabotage: how breaking the rules can set you free, and most likely with Liddie. Look forward to seeing you there.

As part of supporting Birmingham Design Festival, we’re offering a limited number of 1:1 portfolio crits with one of our senior creatives. Look out for the flyer in your festival goodie bag to find out more! 

You can also find out more about us, including career opportunities, on our website

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