Survey finds more industry optimism

Advertising agencies are expected to revise their income forecasts and take on additional staff in the face of an improving business climate, according to the latest Communications Agencies Federation Agency Barometer.

The quarterly survey, which covers the period to the end of March 2004, revealed that 65 per cent of agencies anticipate increased income for the coming year.

Meanwhile, 79 per cent indicated they were more optimistic about the financial prospects for their company, marking a rise of 12 per cent on the previous quarter.

Prospects remain bright for permanent members of staff, with 51 per cent of agencies announcing plans to increase the number of people employed on a full-time basis.

The indications are that new business has remained stable. Fifty-eight per cent of agencies and consultancies reported a busy market, the same figure as in the previous study.

Launched in December 2002, the CAF Agency Baro-meter is a quarterly survey of Marketing Communication Consultants Association, Public Relations Consultants Association and IPA members. It aims to establish trends in committed client expenditure, new-business activity, agency income, confidence and employment.

The IPA president, Stephen Woodford, said: "In terms of client expenditure, we're getting the same positive messages from the Bellwether Report for the first quarter as we did in the last quarter of 2003. This is tremendously encouraging, and should be translated into improved financial and employment figures in 2004."

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).