William “Bill” Sharp, retired founder and CEO of Sharp Advertising Inc., is well known in the advertising community for his expertise and achievements in communications, for his community involvement and for his contributions to motivating minority youth. In 1967, he founded and instructed the “Basic Ad Course,” an American Association of Advertising Agencies–sponsored program that prepared minorities for professional careers in advertising.
The Bill Sharp Award for the Future of Advertising recognizes excellence in marketing, advertising and media by awarding up & coming industry leaders with a financial grant.
The Bill Sharp Award recognizes excellence in marketing, advertising and media by awarding one (1) future leader a $3,500 grant.
Applications are now open. Please apply below! The 2019 award will be presented at
The Face of Talent on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.
Bill Sharp’s advertising industry career began in the Civil Rights era of the late 1960’s. At that time black people were not expected to be viable competitors for management roles in the business of advertising.
After he "boot-strapped" his way into the advertising industry and became the first Black Group Copy Supervisor for JWT; in partnership with the 4As; in 1967 he created the industry's first experiential boot camp - called "The Basic Ad Course". It was designed to train blacks with talent and passion to compete for management roles in the advertising industry.
The Bill Sharp Award for the Future of Advertising was created to award talent and passion for excellence in advertising, marketing, and media coupled with a demonstration of resilience, overcoming adversity in the industry and/or helping others do the same – this is the legacy of Bill Sharp.
The $3,500 financial award was designed to help further the career aspirations of up & coming industry leaders who embody the legacy of Bill Sharp.