Fairley & Associates Gabriele Skelton On Pointe



Digital and design agencies may be emerging from the economic difficulties of recent years. Pay increases are outstripping inflation and a quarter of respondents have received a bonus in the last year.

The Design Industry Voices report (DOWNLOAD HERE) by Fairley & Associates, Gabriele Skelton and On Pointe Marketing, now in its fifth year, reveals what it is like to work in design and digital agencies.

42% of UK digital and design agency staff have received a pay rise in the last twelve months. Pay rises are outstripping inflation with nearly three quarters (73%) of those who received a pay rise in the last year reporting that is was over 3% of their salary. More than 10% of respondents report pay rises of more than 10%.

Rachel Fairley, lead author of the new research and MD of Fairley & Associates, commented; “This is the first evidence we have that the industry is in recovery, as despite the pressure from clients to do more for less money, agency leaders are awarding their staff pay rises and bonuses.”

Stef Brown, co-author and MD of On Pointe Marketing, added “The demand for free creative pitches for prospective clients has not abated and remains an issue. More worrying is the perception among 36% of respondents that they are making more free creative pitches for existing clients.”

Across account management, digital, design and strategy, staff believe that working your way up from a junior position is the best way into the industry. Formal training, such a degree or course, is considered most useful in design (47%) and digital (39%).

Karina Beasley, co-author and MD of Gabriele Skelton, added: “Working your way up is the best way to build a career in the industry, especially if you are in account management or strategy. Agency leaders should note that over 40% of respondents don’t rate their agencies highly for supporting their professional development. It’s become a freelance world over the last five years but there are hints that the pace of change is slowing as fewer people intend to change jobs in the coming year.”

British digital and design agency owners and employees tell us how it feels to work in the industry right now.


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