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IPA Publishes 2003 Agency Census

The annual census of IPA membership from 2003. The Agency Census has become the definitive survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communication agencies.


The IPA released today (5th February 2004) the 2003 Agency Census, the definitive survey of marketing and communications companies, which shows that there were 14,036 individuals employed in 220 IPA member agencies as of 1st September 2003, compared with 14,200 in 217 agencies in 2002.

The average number of employees in an IPA member agency has therefore fallen for the third year in succession and now stands at 64 compared to 65 in 2002, 67 in 2001 and 69 in 2000.

In addition to payroll employees, it is estimated that there are over 700 temps, freelancers and consultants working in IPA member agencies on a regular basis.  This number represents an increase of 11% on 2002 figures and suggests a growing trend towards more flexible working conditions in the industry.  

The highlights of the Census are:
· Three quarters of the employed base is to be found in London and 24% out of London and Scotland. Year-on-year the employed base in London has declined from 10,843 in 131 member agencies in 2002 to 10,697 in 127 member agencies in 2003.

· By agency type 72% (10,133) of the employed base are to be found in creative and full service agencies (including direct marketing, sales promotion and digi-tal) whilst 28% are to be found in media agencies.

· Women continue to make up approximately half of the agency work force, however only 7% of females employed in the industry have achieved board level status or above.

· There are an estimated 449 first year trainees working within IPA member agencies, representing 3.2% of the workforce.

· The average age of employees in the industry is 33, with 48% of employees aged 30 or under, compared to only 5% over 50. The bias towards younger employ-ees is particularly pronounced within media agencies with 61% aged 31 or un-der, compared with 43% in other agencies.

· 14% of agency employees have achieved board director status or higher, and of chairmen, CEO’s and managing directors 11% are female.

· Of those agencies which provided information on the ethnic origin of employ-ees, 91.5% were White/British/Irish, 2.6% are Asian, 1.8% are Black, 1% are of mixed origin and 0.5% are Chinese and 2.5 are of other backgrounds (including other white).

Said Stephen Woodford IPA President:
“The IPA census is an essential snapshot of employment in the industry and a
useful indicator of key trends that exist within the advertising industry. This year's census figures show that while there has been a drop in the number of employees in the sector, the number of consultants, temporary and freelance workers has increased. This suggests a growing trend towards more flexible working arrangements and an industry adapting to cope with an unpredictable economic climate.”

Said Mary Budd, IPA Employment Affairs Advisor:
 “The Census gives us, as an industry, a good baseline to look at how well our initiatives, for example on Diversity, are working. It is also encouraging to see that our members are working more flexibly. This should allow us to respond better to the challenges of the market and reduce the cost and pain of redundancies.”

Please click here to view the report.

Last updated 22/01/2009

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