These Data Sum Up Why No One In Advertising Can Stick With A Job


The shelf life of an advertising professional resembles that of a carton of milk: Things go sour fast.

If you follow AgencySpy or our daily Ad Briefs, you’ve noticed that execs and creatives are often in and out of different agencies after mere months of service. Sometimes they even leave and come back to their spurned shop.

Click here to see why>
Deutsch LA and The 4A’s have made it their mission to end the “Agency Talent Rotisserie.” After interviewing 1,500 advertising professionals, Deutsch has produced statistics that explain why admen and women are so flighty:

1) They’d rather be at Google/Apple/insert cool tech company here.

  • 65 per cent said the most creative person they know doesn’t work in advertising
  • 60 per cent thinks that the most creative company out there is Apple, 30 per cent say Google, and 10 per cent think it’s Verizon

2) They just don’t care.

  • 43 per cent of advertising professionals said they “fell into advertising” … not by choice.
  • 25 per cent admit they “don’t love” advertising
  • 50 per cent don’t think it would be difficult to fit into another industry

3) They’re obsessed with thinking that they’re too-cool-for-school (and, thus, flighty) renegades.

  • 83 per cent think they’re extroverted and 72 per cent identify as rule breakers

4) They’re arrogant. Duh.

  • Even though 65 per cent of advertisers think that the most creative people they know don’t work in advertising, 90 per cent see themselves as very creative.
  • In spite of this crazy creativity, 67 per cent complain that it’s harder to do good creative “than it used to be.”

5) 83 per cent of respondents said that their ideal job would have better compensation (although only 38 per cent cite money as a factory for why they left their last jobs).

How can agencies do better at retaining staff? Be more like a startup. Find out how in the slideshow.

Meh creativity.

How advertisers see themselves:

And why they actually leave.

Deutsch's advice for what agencies can do to make their people stay:

1) Less Fortune 500, more startup: Many agencies are part of large corporations, but they can't afford to act like them. Agencies need to manage their holding company relationships in a way that gives managers control to respond, react, and support employees. Give people within your agency the ability to run their businesses like their own small companies.

2) Invest in an R&D budget: Bring in people and projects that don't focus strictly on the bottom line. Agencies now have the resources to build things like apps--so build them for yourselves.

3) Work in smaller teams: Work in lean, flat structures that give everyone participating control of the process and recognition for the outcomes.

4) Create radical learning opportunities: Success in advertising sometimes mean you get locked into a particular account or role where you've excelled. So aggressively give people the chance to learn other parts of the business, through agency cross-training.

5) Keep entrepreneurship in-house: Creative people want to stretch, so support their side projects, whether it's making a movie or starting a nonprofit. Give them time and resources to do these things, and celebrate their successes.

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