Agency Report 2010: Sharpest revenue decline in 66 years

Ad Age: US Agency Employment

The Agency Report 2010, provides an annual industry overview. This years report ranks 883 U.S. advertising, marketing services, media and public relations agencies. Ad Age’s Bradley Johnson provides his analysis of this years report: Agency Report: Revenue Slumps 7.5%, Jobs at 16-Year Low

Some Report highlights:

  • U.S. advertising/marketing-services firms in 2009 slashed 58,400 jobs, or 7.9% of positions, according to Ad Age Data Center’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Since the recession began in December 2007, these firms have cut 107,700 positions — one in seven jobs.
  • Economists believe the recession ended late last summer. But it’s been a jobless recovery for agencies. U.S. ad agency employment in January 2010 slumped to its lowest level since 1994.
  • The Big Four agency companies in 2009 collectively cut 23,229 jobs worldwide, or 8.6% of staff.
  • Agency tumult in 2009 is immediately apparent in one score: jobs.
  • 2009 revenue fall, worst drop on record for Agency Report. The sharpest revenue decline in the 66 years Ad Age has produced the Agency Report.

The Agency Report 2010 wasn’t all doom-and-gloom, Richmond, VA based, The Martin Agency last year came out on top in 14 new business reviews and this year has added Morgan Stanley, Tylenol and Motrin as new clients. The agency is currently looking to fill 100 open positions.

A reminder: The definition of insanity is, “repeating the same behavior expecting different results.”

Small-to-midsize ad agencies generate new business differently from the larger agencies. Those that will weather this economic storm will be the ones that:

  • Differentiate themselves from their competition
  • Have narrowed their focus by either their target audience, category or discipline
  • Have realized they will not appeal to everyone, but within their target group they will have strong appeal
  • Clearly articulate who they are and how they benefit their target audience
  • Are digitally ready and comfortable with new media
  • Have a blog, and understand how to use social media for themselves
  • Have a large online footprint positioning their agency where it can be easily found online by their best target audience
  • Have a consistent new business program that fully utilizes new media for new business leads

Additional articles that may be of interest:


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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