An analysis of the ad agency business shouldn't begin and end with those mega-agency parents that command legendary nameplates and a progeny of subsidiaries from avenue suites.
This year, outside the umbilical pull of these power brokers that represent 20.8% of all agency employment, staffing levels have accelerated a dramatic 7.7%.
Within this elite group, employment has slumped 3.1% overall, and it's even lower in the agency cores, down, 5.1%.
This finding in Arcadia is supported by in the AM&G survey done for Advertising Age: 53% of responding agencies increased total employment; 26% recorded no change, and only 21% cut back staff. The responses largely cover small-to-medium-sized shops.
Creative and account management departments got most of the new hirees, and media departments the fewest additions.
Stimulating hiring was growth in billings of 7.9%, an average drawn from increases noted by 81% of respondents vs. decreases of only 19%.