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IPA publishes 2013 Agency Census

The number of employees in IPA member agencies has increased by 6% year-on-year from 20,491 in 2012 to 21,715 in 2013, reveals the IPA's 2013 Agency Census published today (28th Novmeber).


Highlights of the IPA's definitive annual survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communications agencies include:

• Of the 21,715 there are an estimated 14,593 individuals employed in creative and other non-media agencies (67.2%), while 7,122 (32.8%) are employed in media agencies.  Both of these universes are now in excess of 2008 pre-recession levels.

• Females account for 26% of those in an executive management position, up from 25% in 2012.

• The proportion of employees who are from a non-white background has increased from 10.6% in 2012 to 11.2% in 2013. This is up 3 percentage points from 2008.

• The average age of employees within the industry is just under 34 and the average age of an employee in a senior executive management position is 43.

• The estimated number of first-year trainees in member agencies has declined by 11% from 933 in 2012 to 831 in 2013.

• 38 apprentices and 323 interns were employed by member agencies as at 1st September 2013 (reported for the first time).

• It is estimated there are 1,898 temps and freelancers working in IPA member agencies on a regular basis, a 41% increase on the 1,345 in 2012 and a 114% increase on the 866 in 2009.

• Although not reflected in the absolute number of first-year trainees working in member agencies year-on-year, there has been a 9.8% increase in the number of employees aged 25 or under in member agencies, from 3,562 in 2012 to 3,910 in 2013.

• Social media, reported for the first time in the IPA Agency Census, accounts for 1.1% of those employed in creative and non-media agencies and 1.9% of those employed in media agencies.

Says Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General: “The IPA agency Census seems to back up what our Bellwether survey has been telling us. Numbers are up, which reflects the fact that the economy is finally growing again. Encouragingly, we are moving in the right direction on diversity although there is further to go here. It's pleasing that the number of women in exec positions continues to rise.”

Says Alex Hunter, IPA Finance Director: “As a census of the advertising agency sector, this is a finger on the pulse of the UK’s economy as a whole. We now see an increase in staff numbers across the board geographically and especially of those under 25. It makes for a healthy picture as we move into 2014.”

For further details on the profile of the employed base by agency type, gender, age, ethnicity and department type, as well as working practices and staff turnover, read the full 2013 Agency Census. It is free to IPA members and £45 for non-members.

IPA initiatives encouraging diversity:

  • The IPA is working with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London who are actively encouraging more students from ethnic minorities to join the advertising industry.  SEO London will represent interested member agencies across 60 universities, and will encourage and screen potential applicants for work experience places, paid internships and graduate opportunities. The programme will also include a series of networking days hosted by the IPA where agencies will expose students to the wide variety of roles available within the industry, ranging from general roles to specific jobs such as data gathering and analytics. Agencies interested in getting involved can contact
  • The IPA has launched its 2014 Creative Pioneers Challenge which aims to attract more school leavers from all backgrounds into the industry by offering 12-month training contracts. Member agencies interested in taking on a school leaver as an apprentice can still sign up to the Creative Pioneers Challenge. For more information visit
  • The IPA will be publishing its 2014 Multicultural Britain report in the spring, as a follow-up to the IPA's 2013 report
  • IPA President Ian Priest will be focusing on talent as part of his ADAPT agenda, looking at how we attract retain and develop a more diverse workforce and encourage new skillsets to our industry.
  • The IPA and Campaign magazine are championing female talent through its Women of Tomorrow Competition which is looking to identify the top ten female industry leaders of the future. The competition is still open for entries.

Last updated 28/11/2013

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