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IPA publishes 2006 Agency Census - Topline figure returns to 1970 levels

The annual census of IPA membership from 2006. The Agency Census has become the definitive survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communication agencies.


The IPA today  (25th January 2007) published the 2006 Agency Census, the definitive survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communication agencies, which shows that there were 17,367 people employed in 258 IPA member agencies on 1st September 2006. This compares to 15,751 people employed in 240 member agencies the previous year.

The last record of the industry being at this level is 1970 when there were 17,231 people at 280 agencies. The highest recorded figure for the survey is 1966 when there were 19,958 people employed at 272 agencies. The lowest recorded figure is 11,096 in 1993 at 225 member agencies.

A significant part of the year-on-year growth has been undoubtedly caused by the recruitment of 18 additional IPA member agencies.  However, the fact that the number of individuals employed in member agencies has gone up by 10.2% to 17,367 suggests that there is some real growth taking place.  This being driven partly by growth in the digital sector, particularly in those agencies that are digital specialists.

Commented Hamish Pringle, Director General, IPA: “These figures reflect the successful growth of a number of new sectors in IPA membership, digital for example, which is a continuing rise in employee figures. We are a people business and these numbers also fit with the latest findings of the Bellwether Report, which shows that 2007 is set to have the highest rise in marketing communication expenditure for seven years.”

The highlights of the survey are:

• An estimated 73.2% of employees (12,712) are employed in 201 creative, full service and other non-media agencies, whilst 26.8% (4,655 employees) are em-ployed in 57 media agencies.

• An estimated 4.1% of the employed base work for their agencies on a part-time basis whilst an estimated 1.6% work at home on a regular basis.

• 4.0% are first year trainees

• 1,152 temps and freelancers work in member agencies, with 44.7% of these in creative departments.

• 55.8% of agencies are based in London while 36.8 are based out of London, 7.4% are in Scotland.

• A significant proportion of the year-on-year growth has come from digital. In the creative sector there are now 770 employees in 19 agencies compared with 379 in 11 agencies last year. In the media sector 198 employees are in 3 digital media specialists, compared with 122 in the same number of agencies in 2005.

• The majority of agencies in IPA membership are small; 39.4% employ 25 or fewer. Only 7.8% employ over 200.

• 50.3% of the employed base is male and 49.7% female.

• Some 47.5% of the employed base in IPA member agencies is aged 30 or under, with the average age being 33.4 years old. The bias towards younger employees is particularly pronounced within media agencies.

• 92.7% of agencies are of white origin, whilst 7.3% are from a non-white back-ground compared with 6.9% in 2005 and 5.1% in 2004.

• At the highest level of seniority (Chair, CEO, MD) 85.3% are male while 14.7% are female.

To view the full report, please  click here

Note to editors:
The IPA is the industry body and professional institute for UK advertising, media and marketing communications agencies. It was established in 1917 as a servicing body and to negotiate on behalf of its members with media bodies, government departments and unions. Its 258 corporate members represent the major part of the advertising agency business, handling advertising with an estimated value of some £13,000 million per year (over 80 per cent of advertising placed by agencies) on behalf of their client companies and organisations nationwide. (note this figure is based on 2005 Advertising Statistics Yearbook figures and excludes classified and television production costs).

For further information:

Hamish Pringle, IPA Director General 020 7201 8201

John Oldfield, IPA Membership Director 07711 883208
Press Office 020 7201 8261

Last updated 22/01/2009

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