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IPA publishes 2008 Agency Census

The IPA today (22nd January) published its 2008 Agency Census, the definitive annual survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communications agencies which shows that there were 20,131 people working in 272 member agencies as at 1st September 2008. This compares to 19,077 people in 261 member agencies as at 1st September 2007, a rise of 1,054 people and the highest total figure recorded since the survey was established in 1960.

04/03/2009

The IPA today (22nd January) published its 2008 Agency Census, the definitive annual survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communications agencies which shows that there were 20,131 people working in 272 member agencies as at 1st September 2008. This compares to 19,077 people in 261 member agencies as at 1st September 2007, a rise of 1,054 people and the highest total figure recorded since the survey was established in 1960. Figures have been steadily rising since 1993, and have returned to a level last seen in 1966.

Highlights of the survey include:

Employed base

An estimated 72.4% of the 20,131 employees (14,583) were employed in 208 creative, full service and other non-media agencies, whilst 27.6% (5,548 employees) were employed in 64 media agencies.

The number of employees in creative and other non-media agencies increased by 6.0% from 13,759 in 205 agencies in 2007 to 14,583 in 2008 in 208 agencies, whilst the number of employees in media agencies increased by 4.3% from 5,318 in 56 agencies in 2007 to 5,548 in 61 agencies in 2008.

First-year trainees accounted for an estimated 3.9% of the employed base with 34.7% of the 786 employees being found in creative, full service and other non-media agencies and 63.3% in media agencies.  In 2007, first-year trainees accounted for 3.3% of the total.

In addition to payroll employees, it is estimated that there were 1,210 temps and freelancers working in member agencies on a regular basis, compared with 1,178 in 2007.  Creative departments account for 37.6% of all temps and freelancers.

By region

The 170 agencies based in London accounted for 76.8% of employed base, the 84 based out of London accounted for 20.2% and the remaining 18 in Scotland 2.9%. 

There has been a 14.9% increase in the size of the employed base outside London while the number of agencies has stayed the same. The average size of an agency outside London has increased from 42.2 employees to 48.5 employees.

Gender

As in other years, the overall gender profile splits around 50%/50% with an estimated 51.9% of the employed base being male and 48.1% female.  This compares to 51.6% and 48.4% in 2007.

Ethnic diversity

95 of the 140 agencies submitting a full census return, provided information in respect of the ethnic diversity of their employees.  Figures from these agencies indicate that those from a non-white background account for 8.4% of the employed base. This is an increase on 2007 figures, where 5.9% of people employed in 67 agencies were from a non-white background.

Age

An estimated 47.6% of the employed base is aged 30 or under, 35.0% is aged 31–40, 12.4% is aged 41–50 and 5.0% over 50.  The average age of employees in all member agencies is 33.3 years; similar to the 33.5 figure in 2007.

In creative and other non-media agencies 41.9% of employees are aged 30 or under, 37.4% is aged 31-40, 14.5% is aged 41-50 and 6.2 over 50.  The average age of employees in creative and other non-media agencies is 34.4 years.

In media agencies 62.7% of employees are aged 30 or under, 28.8% is aged 31-40, 6.7% is aged 41-50 and 1.8% over 50.  The average age of employees in creative and other non-media agencies is 30.5 years.

Seniority

It is estimated that 2.3% of the employed base are in a chairman, CEO or managing director role, while a further 3.2% are classified as being in another agency management role.

At the highest level of seniority (chairman, CEO, managing director) it is estimated that 84.0% of those reaching this position are male, whilst 16.0% are female.

At the broader agency management level, 76.4% of individuals in these positions are male and 25.6% female.

Staff turnover

Of the 140 agencies that responded to the survey, 120 provided an estimate of their staff turnover/churn during the year to 1st September 2008.

In the 97 creative, full service and other non-media agencies that supplied an estimate staff turnover/churn was 17.9%, whilst in the 23 media agencies that supplied an estimate it was 15.7%.

Says Hamish Pringle, Director General, IPA, “We’ve published this survey since 1960 and so have been able to record how the IPA membership's employment patterns have changed, both inside and outside London for nearly fifty years. We can therefore track the effects of a downturn on our industry and, with the headlines we’ve seen over the last few weeks, we expect that 2008 may well be remembered as a peak year for agency staff levels.”

Says Liz Nottingham, HR Director, Starcom MediaVest and Chair, IPA People Management Group, “It is most encouraging to see that graduate trainees continued to be recruited during the period covered by the survey. The talent challenge for the industry in 2009 has to be confidence in continuing to hire this talent pool. It is also important to note that the diversity figure has increased from the previous year. This continues to be an important focus for agencies, which is why the IPA last year developed and launched the Diagonal Thinking tool which aims to support progress in this area.”


The report is free to IPA members and £50 plus VAT to non-IPA members. It can be downloaded here.

Last updated 04/03/2009


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