Planners' premium skills trigger rise up agency pay league

Planners have emerged as the most sought-after talents by Britain's agencies. Executive heads of planning have seen their average pay rise from £162,000 in 2001 to £170,000 in 2002. Junior board planners fared equally well, with average salaries climbing from £64,000 to £69,000, a survey by the headhunters Kendall Tarrant shows.

However, account handling came under intense pressure. Year on year, average salaries for senior board directors fell from £114,000 to £110,000.

Creatives continued to command a premium - average salaries rose from £160,000 to £167,000 year on year. But middle-ranking creatives were the first target for redundancy and senior teams saw average salaries remain flat at £75,000.