[eMarketer] Ad agencies grapple with pandemic-induced job losses
Despite the number of jobs in advertising, PR and related services increasing by 3500 in February this year following a drop in January, that number still remains low by 49,100 compared to the same time last year according to data from AdAge as quoted in eMarketer.
January was one of the worst months in recent years for ad agencies having seen 4800 job cuts, leaving the industry with 186,000 jobs. This marked the agencies’ worst point since 2014.
The global advertising industry suffered unprecedented lows in new business opportunities during the first few months of the pandemic, with about two-thirds of US agency execs surveyed in August 2020 saying it had become harder to obtain new business compared with 2019, according to RSW/US data.
Companies like Coca-Cola and WPP have continued to take advertising in-house or consolidated their creative arms, which has taken a toll on agencies. This kind of insourcing, according to Jeremy Goldman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, suggests that “even if agency employment recovers, it may not get to pre-pandemic levels.”