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A modest increase in salaries is expected for '99. This will be offset, however, by an immodest increase in taxes and the cost of living.

Bonuses remain an important part of advertising executives' total pay, particularly at top-level management. At the bottom level, bonuses remain an important part of the Christmas gift incentive when you're getting a Chia Pet at K-Mart for your mother-in-law.

Overall, agencies in the East show the highest base salaries for advertising executives at all levels. Overall rents in the East show the highest base levels for any habitation in the galaxy.

Creative Directors, Art Directors and Copywriters all fared better in the East in 1998. That's because they spent most of the year on shoots in the tropics.

Men continue to fare better than women in ad agencies. Then why is there always a comfy lounge area in the ladies' room, three times as many stalls as in the men's room and all those dispensers on the wall with cool stuff in them?

Gender differences have narrowed somewhat since 1997 for a number of positions including CD, Copywriter, Media Director and Art Director. More men have earrings.

Seven out of 10 agencies forecast an increase in total employment, with the most optimistic views coming from the smaller firms. They're hiring a bunch of interns to work 90 hours a week for lunch money.

Two thirds of ad agencies saw their billings improve in 1998. The other third

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