UK Agency Population at Thirty-Seven Year High

26 January 2007

LONDON: Britain's IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) today published its annual Agency Census, a definitive survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communication agencies. As at 1 September 2006 employment levels stood at at a thirty-seven year high, with 17,367 staff working in 258 member agencies.

This compares with15,751 people employed in 240 member agencies the previous year - the leap mainly attributable to the IPA's recruitment of eighteen new member agencies during the twelve months period.

Highlights among the census data 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 employed 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 background 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.
Comments IPA director general Hamish Pringle: "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."

Data sourced from: Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (UK); additional content by WARC staff