Agencies face call to raise grads' pay

Britain's agency bosses are under pressure to raise the starting salaries of graduate trainees amid fears that adland is losing out on the brightest university talent.

Grads at creative agencies begin on about £20,000. Media shops offer about £18,000. This is in contrast to management consultants, which offer up to £35,000, and merchant banks, where graduate salaries can begin as high as £40,000.

Agency chiefs have resisted going any way to matching this because of the cost and for fear of unsettling graduates already employed.

But Hamish Pringle, the IPA director-general, said: "In order to make the case for talent, the industry needs to make the investment and prime the pump with extra money."

Trade bodies are worried less about the industry's ability to attract graduates (about 500 of them will join agencies this year), but more about sustaining a quality intake and stopping the high fall-out rate.

- Perspective, page 27.