Welcome to our new Business school newsletter for FT subscribers. It will provide a weekly serving of management wisdom, reading recommendations and business-related challenges. Please send any feedback and ideas to bschool@ft.com.

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Andrew Hill's challenge

The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.

There was a time when a well-crafted television commercial was enough to revive the fortunes of a brand. It happened in the 1980s, when a series of ads with a fifties feel and soul soundtracks gave new life to Levi'’s and its 501 jeans line.

Levis Laundrette advert, 1985, featuring: Nick Kamen
Levi's Laundrette advert from 1985, featuring Nick Kamen © Advertising Archives

But times have changed. My column this week is about the threat to advertising agencies as Google, Facebook and other online media come to dominate advertising spending — and why that could be a problem for traditional creative agencies and even for consumers, as aggressive and intrusive marketing seeps into every aspect of life.

This week's challenge is to put yourself in the shoes of a creative director and write a short pitch to a client for promoting an existing product (one that readers will have heard of) using modern methods, from social media to interactive billboards and live events. The best ideas will be highlighted in future issues. Send your pitches to bschool@ft.com.

In my other reading this week, Miranda Green and Kaye Wiggins' summary of productivity tips for the new year was unmissable - complete with a sidebar pointing out that Benjamin Franklin, who devised a grid of 13 virtues against which he measured himself daily, was the original self-help guru.

Professors' picks

Every week a business school professor recommends an FT article and explains its significance.

Alberto Alemanno, a professor in EU law and risk regulation at HEC Paris, picks Anatomy of a Brexit transition deal.

This article about the Brexit transitional deal matters because it paves the way for a discussion about possible scenarios and — even more interesting — what effect the UK ruling will have on the process and substance of the negotiations. I will be asking my students to read it as part of a new MBA course I am teaching on European affairs. As future business people, they need to know how Brexit will affect their chances of starting a business or getting a job.

Ask the academics

Got a question for leading business school experts? Send it to bschool@ft.com and we will publish the best replies in future newsletters.

Jonathan Moules' business school news

Mergers are no longer merely the subject for study of case studies at business school. They have become a strategic challenge for several deans as the global business education market faces pressure to consolidate. FT columnist Michael Skapinker travelled to upstate New York to assess the marriage of Cornell’s Johnson management school, the Dyson school and the School of Hotel Administration, finding resentment from some of those who felt forced into the union.

Another trend in business education is teaching about entrepreneurship. The FT's John Thornhill reviews the latest developments first hand by signing up as a student on the Ignite programme for start-ups, run by Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Test your knowledge

How good is your grasp of the news? Test your reading of last week's top stories with the FirstFT quiz.

Compiled by Wai Kwen Chan

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