Fairley & Associates Gabriele Skelton On Pointe


We asked people who work within design or digital agencies to share their views anonymously about how it feels to work within their agencies right now.

The research was carried out online between 9-21 October 2013 by Rachel Fairley and Donovan Lambert of Fairley & Associates and Professor Stephen Platt of the University of Edinburgh, working in collaboration with Gabriele Skelton and On Pointe Marketing.

576 of a possible 3792 people invited to participate did so (15.2%). All respondents are either clients or candidates of Gabriele Skelton.

We asked respondents to agree or disagree with statements about perception of how their working experience has changed since 2007 (i.e. before the current economic crisis).

This year we asked respondents about the extent of free creative pitching both to prospective and to existing customers. The issue of free pitching has been much debated in the industry.

In addition to asking respondents about how valued they feel by their agencies, we also asked how long it had been since they had received a pay rise and what percentage of their salary that pay rise had been. We asked similar questions about bonuses.

Finally, there are new questions about the best form of training for working in different roles in the industry, such as design, digital, strategy and account management.

About the participants

Management function: 13.4% are owners, 6.4% are on the executive team, 19.1% are director level, 26.5% are managers, 5.4% are in a non-management role, with 29.2% classing functions as being ‘other’.

Role: 51.4% are designers, 8.6% strategists, 15.6% work in account management, 7.2% in production, 4.3% new business/marketing, 2.1% human resources, with 10.7% classing their roles as being in other parts of their organisation.

Employment status: 63.6% of respondents are permanent employees, 34.5% are temporary/ freelancers and 2.3% are currently not working.

Length of service: 23.3% of participants have been with their employers for more than 5 years, 3.9% for 4-5 years, 9.1% for 3-4 years, 13.4% for 2-3 years, 14.8% for 1-2 years, and 35.6% for under 1 year.

Age: 14.9% were aged under 30 years, 41.2% 30-39 years, 33.3% 40-49 years, and 10.7% 50+ years.

Gender: 56.5% of the sample was male and 43.5% was female.