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
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
But this is not enough, says Foers: ’The more junior you are the less
you get - not very attractive in the current candidate-driven
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
partner* 45,000 73,000 80,000
*Variations at this level are considerable
Survey includes planners, planner/buyers and TV/broadcast buyers.