Britain's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising last week published its 2002 Agency Census, a definitive survey of marketing and communications companies.

This reveals 14,200 employees employed at IPA member agencies as at September 1 2002, a marginal increase on the 14,000 on the previous year’s payroll.

But the increase is restricted to small-to-medium shops. Among large agencies – defined as those with a gross income over £18 million ($29.53m; €27.59m) – there was a 4% decline in personnel employed compared with increases of 4% and 5% respectively at medium and small sized agencies.

Factoring out the increase in the number of IPA member agencies contributing to the 2002 survey, the IPA estimates there has been a year-on-year decline in the employee base of approximately 2.5%.

The highlights of the Census are:

• 76% of the employee base is in London

• 66% of employees are under the age of 35. In media agencies this figure is 78%.

• 16% of employees have achieved board director status or higher within their agency. Of these 77% are men and 23% are women.

• Women continue to make up nearly 50% of staff. Within this they represent 10% of chairmen, ceos and managing directors, 16% of art directors and 20% of copywriters in creative agencies. In the interactive and design functions these percentages rise to 32% and 27% respectively.

• The first ethnic figures show that the overwhelming majority of employees (95.7%) are from a white British background while 1.4% are classified as Black, 1.3% are Asian, 0.8% are mixed and 0.7% are from other backgrounds [WAMN: 30-Jan-03].

• It is estimated that there are 600 freelances working for IPA member agencies, the majority of which (58%) are based in the creative department.

• There are estimated to have been 300 first year trainees working at IPA member agencies (which accounts for 2% of the total base).

Commented IPA director general Hamish Pringle: “The 2002 figures reflect the tough economic market environment but some people may be surprised that the overall decline on a like-for-like basis has been relatively small. We believe this reflects the diversity of IPA member agencies and the fact that there are areas of growth as well as decline.”

The census in full can be downloaded from IPA Census.

Data sourced from: IPA Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff