IPA publishes Agency Census 2018

The IPA Agency Census shows that the total number of people currently working in IPA member agencies remains almost the same as 2017 (down 0.6%) although there are subtle shifts in the makeup of the employed base.

IPA publishes Agency Census 2018

There has been an increase in staff employed by media agencies; up 7.1% year-on-year. While at creative and other non-media agencies staff levels have fallen for the second consecutive year – down 5.1%.

The 2018 Census also reveals:

  • An increase in the number of people working part-time or reduced hours - up from 1,506 in 2017 to 1,634.
  • 86.8% of part-timers/reduced hours workers are women.
  • A slight decrease in the number of first-year trainees and apprentices from 1,021 to 1,009.
  • The average age of employees remains constant at 33.9 . 6.2% of the workforce is made up of people aged 50 or over.
  • That staff turnover (excluding redundancies) fell slightly from 30.0% to an estimated 28.4%.

The Census also incorporates figures from the IPA’s Gender and Ethnic Diversity Survey, published in January, which reveal that:

  • 32.7% of C-Suite roles at IPA member agencies are held by women (up from 30.9% in 2017).
  • Overall, ethnic diversity among ad agencies is at its highest recorded level at 13.8%. C-Suite representation is 5.5%, up from 4.7% in 2017.

Commenting on the findings, the report’s author Roger Ingham said: “The results of this year’s IPA Agency Census reflect the broader national economic uncertainty over the last few years. Marketing budgets have been tightening for some time, albeit with the exception of this quarter, and therefore it is unsurprising to see the industry in a state of stasis. It is also interesting to see the continued growth of media agencies, reflecting an industry trend that we have seen for a number of years.”

New IPA President Nigel Vaz said: “This important IPA survey continues to be a barometer for the health of our business and highlights useful trend data. We are a people business and I look forward to working with the IPA on its initiatives to continue to improve diversity across the board within our industry.”

For full details on the profile of the employed base by department type, gender, age and ethnicity as well as working practices and staff turnover, download the full IPA Agency Census 2018. The Census is free to IPA members and £25 for non-members.

The 2018 IPA Agency Census was undertaken using an online questionnaire among 224 corporate member agencies between September and December 2018 alongside the Gender and Diversity Survey, elements of which are reported in this document. 

The responses received represent 79% of the estimated employed base. Profiles in this report are based on those agencies providing a full response to the section of the survey questionnaire to which it applies.

Last updated 21 January 2022