Agencies are being urged to allow their staff to work more flexibly
in an attempt to prevent a "brain drain" from the industry and make it
more attractive to young entrants.
The initiative comes from the IPA, which is asking member shops to sign
up to a voluntary code committing them to creating better work-life
balances for their staff.
The move marks a real change within the industry, which has a reputation
for forcing staff to work long hours. The IPA believes that
advertising's working environment must be made more pleasant if its best
talent is to be retained and graduates are not dissuaded from
Hamish Pringle, the IPA's director-general, said: "We'll never compete
with accountancy and the law on graduate salaries even though we've
always been able to offer excitement and even glory. But that's no
longer enough for young people and we have to do something about
The guidelines don't necessarily advocate shorter working weeks and more
working from home, but they do suggest agencies take advantage of
technology to adopt less rigid working patterns. They follow a year's
consultation by the IPA, backed by government funding.
Christine Walker, the chairman of the IPA Retention of Talent working
party, said: "Since June there has been a downturn in some parts of the
industry and this has had an effect on the workforce. However, the need
to retain, and indeed attract, top talent remains paramount if we are to
maintain our professional standards and achieve the respect, custom and
financial reward of our client base."