Agencies boost junior-level salaries

Junior-level planner/buyer salaries have soared in the past 12 months, but agencies still lag behind media owners when it comes to their staff benefits.

Junior-level planner/buyer salaries have soared in the past 12

months, but agencies still lag behind media owners when it comes to

their staff benefits.



According to a new and in-depth study by The Davis Company, a graduate

starting at a media agency can expect to earn 12 per cent more now than

they would have done a year ago.



Planners or buyers with a year’s experience now regularly command pounds

20,000, which The Davis Company said ’would have seemed laughable 12

months ago’.



But as Davis Company agency consultant Louise Foers points out: ’The

biggest increase is at the 18-month to four-year experience level, where

there is a real skills shortage. A planner/buyer with two years’

experience is getting as much as 15 per cent more than they were last

year - around pounds 3,000.’



However, the benefits survey conducted by The Davis Company highlighted

some obvious gaps in the packages offered to agency staff.



’There is still only one top ten agency that offers a pension the day

you walk through the door, whereas media owners often offer one,’ said

Foers. ’You have to reach a minimum age to qualify for a lot of the

schemes,’ she added.



Bonuses are also rare, according to Foers’ investigations. ’Only one or

two offer a healthy bonus,’ she said, ’most offer nothing at all.’



There are, however, several agencies that offer a bonus - ranging from a

few hundred pounds to pounds 1,000 - for staff who introduce an employee

to the agency. Gym membership, healthcare and season ticket loans are

common.



But this is not enough, says Foers: ’The more junior you are the less

you get - not very attractive in the current candidate-driven

market.



Often, quite senior personnel have basic packages - not a patch on their

colleagues at the media owners.’





THE DAVIS COMPANY AGENCY SALARY SURVEY

Level/job title      Experience               Low     Average       High

                                         (pounds)    (pounds)   (pounds)

Graduate             (no experience)       13,500      15,000     16,000

Assistant            (6-12 months)         15,000      18,000     20,000

Planner/buyer        (12-18 months)        16,000      22,500     25,000

Planner/buyer        (1-2 years)           18,000      25,000     28,000

Planner/buyer        (2-4 years)           21,000      29,000     33,000

Manager              (4-6 years)           30,000      36,000     43,000

Group head           (6 years plus)        40,000      57,000     65,000

Director/managing

partner*                                   45,000      73,000     80,000

*Variations at this level are considerable

Survey includes planners, planner/buyers and TV/broadcast buyers.



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