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Creative directors in North America earn as much as 41 per cent more than European counterparts, study shows

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

March 14, 2014 | 3 min read

Creative directors in North America earn as much as 41 per cent more than the European counterparts, a study has revealed.

Report: Soda's Salary Survey is out

The annual salary report from the Global Society for Digital Marketing Innovators (Soda) showed that creative directors in the US earned $136,000-$150,000, the equivalent of £75,000-£90,000 in the UK, compared to the people in the same roles in Europe who are earning between $91,000 and $100,000 (£54,000-£59,000).

The report also revealed that the number of account directors earning salaries higher than $125,000 (£75,000) increased by 45 per cent across the board in 2013, while on average account directors earned 11 per cent more last year than they did in 2012.

The study warned of a widening pay gap between North America and other parts of the world, with the highest salaries overall paid there. On average, account managers in North America earned between $91,000 and $100,000 (£54,000-£59,000) while their counterparts in Europe and Australia averaged $61,000-$70,000 (£36,000-£41,000) and in Latin America the wages dropped lower to between $51,000 and $60,000 (£30,000-£35,000).

Chris Buettner, executive director at Soda, said: “On a global level, most salaries analysed by Soda were either stable or slightly up on 2013, despite the slow economic recovery in many regions.

“One of the reasons is that the world’s leading digital agencies and production companies are fighting hard to keep top talent from jumping ship to start-ups that offer high salaries and promise a golden lottery ticket.

“In this year’s Salary Survey we are seeing pockets of salary inflation due to global demand for top talent in areas such as design, user experience, strategy and technical architecture.”

According to the report, the creative industry bucked the corporate sector trend of rising pay for CEOs, with compensation for CEOs and managing partners instead dropping by 16 per cent in 2013 from around $200,000-$250,00 (£120,000-£150,000) on average in 2012 to $176,000-$200,000 (£105,000-£120,000) in 2013. Soda attributed the drop to a shift towards incentive-based pay.

In Latin America, Brazil remained the region offering the highest salaries but the report showed the gap is narrowing thanks to emerging markets in places such as Colombia.

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