The Drum Awards for Marketing - Entry Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Advertising IPA Brexit

Advertising jobs remain steady in 2017 in spite of Brexit uncertainty finds IPA


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

February 15, 2018 | 3 min read

Advertising jobs held steady in 2017 despite the notion that Brexit and rumoured freedom of movement restrictions could hamper the creative industry in the UK, according to the IPA.


IPA census marks a steady increase of ad jobs in the UK

While 2018 figures may tell a different story with Independent creative agency HarrimanSteel already moving its London agency of 19 years to Amsterdam due to a ‘dramatically shifting political scene’.

During 2017, IPA members increased ever so slightly from 25,234 to 25,290, media agencies breached 40% of this figure for the first time, this sector grew by 8.7% from 9,434 to 10,259, up 44% over the past five years. The other side of the coin is that creative and other non-media agencies decreased by 4.9% from 15,800 to 15,031.

Around 1,545 individuals, 6.1% of the employed base, are part-time workers, up from 1,539 in 2016. Some 860 first-year trainees and apprentices in member agencies were in place as of 30 June 2017. Making up 3.4% of the employed base , this is down from 1,079 in 2016. Furthermore 1,625 temps and freelancers were in place in 2017, accounting for 6.4% of staff. Again down, slightly from 1,727.

Member age stayed steady at 33.7 and the average tenure at agencies was 38.9 months, up from 34.7 months in 2016. Total staff turnover was up 31.9%, an increase from 29.4% in 2016.

Commented Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA: “The IPA’s annual Census provides an important snapshot of the state of the industry and the make-up of adland, demonstrating if and where work needs to be done to improve diversity levels.

"As our president Sarah Golding rightly said on the release of the IPA Gender and BAME survey in January, we are moving in the right direction in a number of areas, but there is still much we can do in order to accelerate this growth. We will continue to watch and support our agencies’ diversity initiatives and hope to see an improvement in these figures over the next few years."

The IPA’s Gender & BAME Survey found that men account for 69.1% of those in C-Suite roles, women took 0.6% off this figure in 2017, showing at least movement in the right direction.

Of the agencies that provided ethnic background information, 87.1% of employees were identified as being from a white background and 12.9% from a non-white background, an increase from 12.0% in 2016.

View the full report here. It is free for IPA members or £25 for new visitors

It is worth looking to the situation in the USA where for the first time in recorded history, the number of advertising jobs decreased during a period of economic expansion. Tech takes the blame, as does in-housing.

Advertising IPA Brexit

More from Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +