Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Poll No.20 - How Much Do You Earn?


I promised a post on pay.

But I'm not going to do that.

The subject is too big, and its influence too important (let's face it, no one goes into advertising to make the world a better place).

So I'm going to do a Pay Week.

Starting with a poll (top right of your screen). Let's see if Scamp readers are driving gold-plated Bentleys, or eating old bits of carpet at the end of the month. Please note that some publications ask people how much they earn because they want to use that information to snare advertisers. Not the case here. This is pure snoopiness.

Let's look at some attitudes towards pay as well.

Are you fairly paid? What about pay levels in the advertising industry in general? Is it unfair that we earn less than lawyers and bankers? Or is it ridiculous that we're paid (on average) more than teachers and nurses?

Let's hear what you think.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think 25-50k is quite a big gap...

Anonymous said...

kate moss, how much are you earning?

Waldemar said...

my precious 200 weekly placement pounds are all going towards evil london's living expenses. junior creatives need a seperate poll option - but i guess this topic is more bout the 'real' money?

Mr Orange said...

My Aton's not going to pay for itself.

The love that we've put in over the years. We deserve every penny. Probably more.

Anonymous said...

Aston Mr Orange?? you've got pay coming out your arse and you can't even spell.

Alex said...

hope you're declaring that wal. 200 is a lot better than some but less than it probably should be.

Start a placement poll.

Fenton Benton said...

What about an online public directory of ad wages where people can submit their title, agency (??) and salary to help make the wage market in london transparent.

This, of course would be subject to abuse, but ridiculously over mean entries could be deleted.

It'd undoubtedly cause wage inflation in advertising. Which would be excellent.

Anonymous said...

here's the reality kids. the days of getting rich out of advertising are gone. unless you own something. the holding companies don't want to pay diddly squat. and anyone who thinks awards still automatically equals riches is delusional. not the case.

bet you anything sr. cabral flees to gorgeous films asap. he'll not get rich at publicis/fallon.

mm said...

the pay is shit but we do deserve to earn more than teachers.

Anonymous said...

Do we have to declare freelance earnings, you know, from the jobs you take to make ends meet?

Lunar BBDO said...

Have you heard about that survey where people said they'd rather be on 50k if everyone else they knew was on 30k than be on 150k if everyone else was on 200k?

I admire Peter Souter's transparency. In the A-list one year they asked for salaries. I think Peter was the only one who answered (£400,000).

When a current CD of a top thirty agency went into his MD's office to ask for a raise, the MD went through all his earnings and benefits and said, 'That's all right, isn't it?'. The CD pointed out that he'd just gone through someone's else's salary and benefits by mistake. Actually, it was the details another creative and this CD discovered that he earned much less and felt somewhat crushed.

Anyhoo...everyone deserves to earn less than teachers and nurses. They do a proper job.

pisspoorenglish said...

I can't imgaine anyone wanting into this industry as a means of making big money. It's the last thing on my mind.

I've been made redundant from a job where I was paid decent money. But it was a shit job which scratched at my very soul each and every day.

The one extended placement I had in the past I got paid £0. Not even a bus fare. I don't expect to get anything on the next one I get...but if I can get a paid placement I'll be as happy as dog who just found his balls.

I'd also note I'd happily accept a job as a junior and when I do, I estimate it'll be £6k less than what i was previously on. And maybe £10-£12k less than what I 'should' be earning.

But hey, I reached a point where I know it's all about being happy in what you do and actually wanting to get up in morning. To feel like you are achieving something. You can still do that in advertising, right?

kate moss said...

I take home quite a lot.

Of men.

And my life centres around unexpected withdrawals and massive deposits.

But of spunk, not cash.

And on my tits, not at the bank.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that in absolute terms, adland salaries have stayed pretty static since the late 80s. And as we know, nothing much else has. Ok, it's improved a bit at the bottom and the top end has edged upward, but it's still nowhere near city/law levels. The £100K Seymours were generous, sure, but that was in 1984 and you can earn that running a training Quango or somesuch. Everyone still expects you to be loaded and if you explain that no, you don't live in a Nash fronted villa in Regents Park, have a bolt hole in Cap Ferrat and drive a DB9 because you're earning about the same as a primary school head-teacher of the same age, they (and it's often the public sector employees) think you're some kind of pathetic loser. They still expect you to pick up the tab, though...

Anonymous said...

I only read this blog now for Kate Moss' comments.

Anonymous said...

What's Miss Moss's blog address? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

I am not creative, but I do enjoy the industry as a whole. I'm not paid bucket loads of cash, but simply love advertising for the craft that it is. If I wanted to make a fortune, I'd work at Goldman Sachs (easier said than done, but the principal is there).

On another note - nurses will never be paid well because one is not meant to go into Nursing for the money, but for the love of helping and healing.

Teachers? Underpaid, but they don't create campaigns that run the world over and generate millions of pounds for clients. Shame, because those that do create these campaigns were all brought up in some capacity by some very influential teachers that will have shaped their way of thinking. Underpaid, but not deserving of Peter Souter's salary either.

Anonymous said...

They’d need to pay me 400k to make those Walkers ads

Anonymous said...

I know who Kate Moss is I'm sitting opposite him/her.

Going by the fact Kate Moss is wearing a grubby Von Dutch sweatshirt I can't imagine they earn much more than 200 quid a week, but maybe its just an act because Kate Moss does have a rather a nice Mont Blanc pen.


p.s sorry for the cowadly anonymous thing.

Big Jethro Fan said...

I earn £85,000 a year plus benefits and (sorry placement people) I feel somewhat underpaid.

Funny how it's all relative.

When I was on 42,000 I felt pretty rich until I adjusted to the cash and got pissed off.

TC said...

How long have you been in the industry big jethro fan? interesting to know for someone just starting out...

Anonymous said...

re: big jethro.

I earn 90K plus a few bits like healthcare.

But I'm one of a few CD's in an agency thats not small by any means, my partner and I manage a few accounts and I also feel underpayed, especially when I found out that a team who are of a similar level, havent won as many awards as me, dont manage any accounts, earn more than I do. What the fuck?

Am I underpayed?


And no I don't work for BBH.

I lied about being a jethro fan said...

Coming up to my eleven or so years but I've been around this level for 18 months.

And if I don't get a raise soon I'm going to be fucking pissed off.

(sorry again for sounding so spoilt).

Anonymous said...

what about the differences in salaries between account people/creattives - is it vast? or not much in it?

Dave from WC1 said...

Its vast. Beacuse Accunt men are just glorified bag carriers, creatives are the ones that come up with the ideas, more often than not the insight, all accunt men do is generally fuck up the process.

Steve H said...

if we worked for local government say, there would be a pay scale. So you'd know that the guy at the same grade as you was earning the same. the guy on a higher grade might get fifteen hundred a year more, the guy below would get the same amount less. It would be fair - but oh, so soul destroying.

Thank fuck this is advertising, not the local Social Sevices. We get to negotiate our deals and that's why the CD in the next office to you might be earning a pittance - or twice as much. The trick is don't worry about it - just get the best deal for you.

And yes, you can get a better deal by winning awards. But you can also get a better deal by managing a huge piece of business that brings cash flooding into the agency. Both are equally as valuable.

Just figure out what your strengths are - and leverage accordingly.

Robbie Rae said...

I get paid okay, I think.

I don't feel I've sold my soul.

I don't have to change too much as a person.

I would much rather my salary and my life than the big bucks and bullshit of the 'serious' professions.

I get paid to muck about.

Far more than it deserves, if I'm honest. But fuck it. I make companies money. I want my share.

It's daylight robbery when I compare things to my mates.

mm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr Purple said...

I work at a small-ish integrated agency group, where I'm ECD. I've been in the business 17 years (started out in graphic design though, not ATL) and have been running a creative team of 14 for about 7 years. I'm on £80K plus a half-decent benefits package. Am I underpaid?

BTW: I don't think it's ridiculous that earn more than nurses. What's ridiculous is that they don't earn as much as me.

Anonymous said...

if teachers were paid more, perhaps they would be motivated to teach fellas like anonymous 3.15pm how to spell.

Robbie Rae said...

Mr purple.

You probably ARE a bit underpaid, IMHO.

But, ostensibly, you earn more than the prime minster.

Perpective, if perpective were needed.

Anonymous said...

Misspelling perspective twice?

The teachers definitely need more pay.

Holly said...

I think your bracket of "£25k and under" is far too large. There are a lot of different levels in that category, and it'd be interesting to see it split out. Especially if we could include job titles.

I saw an ad the other day for an AE job at an agency in Manchester, paying £15-17k. Ouch.

Anonymous said...

re annonymooose at 4.15pm

I'm not a fella. Well not technicly yet.

The cock is attached at the base, but he wiring has yet to be sorted out, I do have a certain sensation on the Bus's etc (tube train I'm ok with) for example, but I've yet to have a full blown hard-on.

Maybe thats why i'm so upset about pay, what with the hormone tablets and this god damn operation that doesnt seem to have gone as well as I'd hoped.

So I'm sorry about the spelling.

Anonymous said...

At my place there seems to be a huge gap between creative salaries and account man salaries, in favour of the account man. Of course this is mainly based on rumours but as a creative, producing the ideas, the fundamental part of any agency, you can’t help feeling a little under appreciated.

There’s no doubt that we all get paid well for doing a pretty random job. Just read Scamps tagline about staring out the window. And if you work hard you will be rewarded. But it can be a bit distracting when you find out the over inflated salaries of seemingly useless colleagues.

Anonymous said...

re: big jethro.

I earn 90K plus a few bits like healthcare.

But I'm one of a few CD's in an agency thats not small by any means, my partner and I manage a few accounts and I also feel underpayed, especially when I found out that a team who are of a similar level, havent won as many awards as me, dont manage any accounts, earn more than I do. What the fuck?

Am I underpayed?


And no I don't work for BBH.


elliot, i didn't know you read this?

Anonymous said...

re annonymous @6.15

My name is not Elliot, nor is it Jane or Helen, I think it will soon be Harry or maybe Horatio, I haven't decided yet.

My cock aches, the stiches are pulling a bit

Anonymous said...

I work in China. They pay me not well even though I make ad for big flame olympic poster. This not right. I can no send my book to BBH? I can do TV also. My ad below:

http://vidmax.com/index.php/videos/view/551

Cultural Minister Sun Jiazheng said...

re annon( Or so you thought) 6.33

We know who you are, we know where you work, we know where you live.

But fucking hell that is so not funny.

kate moss said...

Is 'Mont Blanc Pen' slang for front downstairs parts?

Anonymous said...

Senior planner, US, 170K.

Anonymous said...

How much do we reckon the top creatives like Cabral, Silburn, Walker and Gooden earn/are worth? And is Ed Morris really as good as his roumored salary?

Lunar BBDO said...

It's not always the case, but often you are paid less at good agencies (or more at bad agencies; however you want to look at it) because you are getting the benefit of (theoretically) working on better accounts and having a better creative agency's name on your CV. I've been led to believe, for example, that DDB doesn't pay fantastically but you'll win so many awards there that you can cash in by moving somewhere slightly worse.

This probably becomes less relevant at the upper levels, where you'll still trouser a lot for being Juan Cabral (I'd guess somewhere around 250k).

Things also change when you take on clienty, CD-type responsibilities. A very high-up AD once told me (disappointedly) that there's a limit of about 170k on a creative who is not a CD. Justifying cash of that level is a tricky business, and you have to look like you're earning your money.

Equity is the only route to real cash, however.

WorthEveryPenny said...

To the CD who earns £90K plus benefits like healthcare (posted at 3.15pm.)

That's quite a lot of money to pay someone who thinks that the plural of CD (CDs) should have an apostrophe.

The average Greengrocer's salary is far less than £90k, I imagine. So you're not doing too badly, are you?

Anonymous said...

Headhunters the Talent Business publish an annual report detailing salary bands by level and experience. If you want to know whether your pay is in the right bracket, ask a headhunter.

Rock star top creatives get paid a lot because few people can do what they do. It's like being a top QC. There are only a few Beatties, Cabrals, and others like them in the country. Their work attracts new clients and brings success and so they can command as much as the market will stand.

Steve H is also right, if you take on big responsibility for big-fee accounts, that is also reflected in your wages. Even if that big account isn't a creative flagship for the agency.

I can tell you that in general, a good creative will get paid more than a good account man. It's simple supply and demand. There are fewer of the former around. And if you really want to create demand for yourself and increase your value - get into digital. That's what people are paying over the odds for just now.

Anonymous said...

rockstars get paid a lot? not if your fantasy involves actually getting rich. like really rich.

the ad biz pays rather niggardly lately. reason being the public ownership of agencies. they want to treat you like a commodity and pay you nothing.

got a problem with that?

Anonymous said...

re: Wortheverypenny at 3.16

Sory about the grammer!

I was checking my bank balance on my blackberry at the time I was writing the comment, and got a bit distracted by all the 000000.

Your right 90K is rather nice, thankyou.

Grosserapostrophe said...

Oh dear wortheverypenny, I don't even think the 'art director' got the joke.

Then again, the £90k clearly hasn't bought a sense of humour, judging by their attempt at a reposte.

Intentional mistakes? Hilarious. What will they think of next?

FishNChimps said...

Judging by the poor spelling and grammar demonstrated within many of these comments, hardly any of you deserve to be bloody well paid at all.

]-[appy Thought said...

Seems that the infusion of money by raises is like upping the dose of morphine to a patient. People become used to what they are getting and need more in order to get some kind of positive reaction. I can honestly say that if I was getting 100K a year (after tax that is what? £85K in your pocket?) I wouldn't know what to do with it, but perhaps that's because I'm still junior and fall over backwards at the idea of getting PAID to have my feet up on my desk.

The other aspect of richness at work is how much an agency is willing to spend on you. I wouldn't mind dropping a grand or two to work at an agency which gets the drinks in at least once a month or hoasts gigs or books boxes at theatres etc. Hell, table football or an Xbox would be fine!

Seeing as we keep comparing our jobs to that of hospital staff, perhaps a change of agency policy is in order? We do mundane ads with loooong lead times for a fixed fee until a client wants to "go private", then we milk them for all their worth for doing some propper work.

Anonymous said...

I'm a junior creative in London & have been working for 1 & a half years in an agency. I'd love to know the average salary for someone this level? Seeing as it's 'pay week' maybe you could do a post on Junior, Middleweight and Senior creative's average salaries, Scamp?

Anonymous said...

I think we’re forgetting for the big bucks you have to work really, really hard (or so it seems to my eyes). It’s not easy. I’m not at that level, but everyone I know who is seem to live in the office. And this probably goes some way to explaining the high rates of divorce in the industry.

I’m paid well for my work and I still have a life. Sure, I could really push for more responsibility and network a bit more. But I also have a wife who has a very hard job and a kid. So something’s got to give. I’d rather earn a bit less and not fuck my private life up.

But then that’s frowned on, we’ve all read ‘24 hours with…’ in Campaign. How many of them start with ‘kids at 7.00’ and finish with ‘kids at 11’?

Incidentally, when I was a journalist I got paid peanuts - probably the same as working as a store assistant in Dixons. When I became an editor, I got a slightly better salary, but considering I was responsible for three contract publications making good money (far more than conventional magazines), it was still peanuts. And I was knackered all the time.

There we go, that's my Jerry Maguire' moment for the day.

Anonymous said...

Ok Scamp, spill the beans, how much are you on?

Toad said...

I've done a bunch of posts about this, even been pilloried by Ad Age for it.

But Anonymous 1:37 has it right: salaries have dropped rather precipitously at the upper levels over the past 20 years. As has the number of large agencies who'll pay them.

People go into advertising to get rich. Or at least comfortably upper middle class. But if all we can promise them is $US 250K/year att he pinnacle of their career, we're going to have a tough time luring people into the business. (Figure that's around £125K - the exchange rate keeps dropping)

(For comparison sake, Group CDs at big NYC agencies made north of $300-400K not too long ago. It's not like $250K is bupkes, but as other professional salaries (law, banking) keep rising, we're definitely falling by comparison.)

Blame it on the holding companies- the pressure for profit is there and keeps #s down. Ditto the rise of digital. Because despite the buzz about how in-demand digital creatives are, they still get paid a whole lot less than ATL creatives. And if you're already paying your Digital CD less, why not pay the new ATL CD less.

But I go back to my original point: if I'm 25 and have a talent for writing, art direction and a strong creative bent, advertising is no longer the glamorous, high-paying field it once was.

Chances are I'm going to start looking elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Funny title to this blog post. Is it how much money do you earn, or how much money do you make? The answers are usually quite different.

James Feess said...

toad - you said "But I go back to my original point: if I'm 25 and have a talent for writing, art direction and a strong creative bent, advertising is no longer the glamorous, high-paying field it once was.

Chances are I'm going to start looking elsewhere."

What other careers are out there for people who fall into the above statement?

Toad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toad said...

Ooops: accidentally cut a paragraph out before. Let me try again:

@james feess: There are plenty of alternatives: the online content field is booming (e.g. people making non-branded shows for the web or writing for sites or making video games for places like EA). Places like Google and Yahoo are always looking for good thinkers. And they pay pretty well. And there are lots of smaller internet companies who also value that kind of skill set, companies who may become the next Google.

There's also Goldman Sachs. Because given the obscene amounts of money bankers and hedge fund guys are making these days, a lot of bright creative kids are going to go for the money and consign art and writing to "hobby" status.

I don't think young people are abandoning advertising, but it's much harder to get the best and the brightest.

pisspoorenglish said...

"But I go back to my original point: if I'm 25 and have a talent for writing, art direction and a strong creative bent, advertising is no longer the glamorous, high-paying field it once was.

Chances are I'm going to start looking elsewhere."

can we have a poll on how many people got/getting into the industry for money or the idea of the job (chance to be creative)?

'cos this poll is quite disheartening.

talented people will want to come into this industry to express their creativity, in a way that very very few other jobs allow. not just 'cos they can milk their talent for most cash.

Mr Purple said...

Now I'm depressed.

Maybe those of us who think we're not earning enough, simply aren't as good as the ones making the big money. Market forces and all that...

I hope I'm wrong!

Jacob said...

As long as people in advertising are paid more than teachers, nurses, firemen etc., they are paid too much.

Anyone who thinks 'we deserve this kind of pay' should wake up and realise that you are really not making much of a difference no contribution to a better world (except your own ofcourse)

Rob Mortimer said...

As someone said earlier, its not that ad people are paid too much (certainly not compared to bankers in the city), but that nurses, teachers etc are paid too little.

As someone about to start in adland, i'd be interested to know what the average starting salary is...

Anonymous said...

ok, this may be a little off topic, but what happens to all the old creatives? i look around my department and the only people over 40 are the ecd, and maybe a freelance team. are we supposed to make all our cash and get out/get kicked out before we're past it? or is there some place that looks after all the old creatives, apart from amv.

Anonymous said...

I get paid quite well but what money I have has come from getting a financial advisor, investing wisely and not sniffing it all up my nose you stupid twats.

Rob Mortimer said...

Been reading 1989's "A guide to modern advertising" have we anon 10-02?

Except for Kate Moss of course...

Mr Purple said...

Hey, Anon 10:02 –
My money goes on a large mortgage for a small house. And as putting a house up my nose is somewhat unlikely, you should keep your ill-informed, piss-poor, sweeping generalisations to yourself, you fucking idiot.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to change the subject, but has anyone seen the
Get Minted "The Ad Agency" TV spot on David Reviews?

It gets my vote as the worst ad of the last twelve months, oh my fucking god what a pile of Shit, what were they thinking?

Anonymous said...

_____ok, this may be a little off topic, but what happens to all the old creatives? i look around my department and the only people over 40 are the ecd, and maybe a freelance team. are we supposed to make all our cash and get out/get kicked out before we're past it? or is there some place that looks after all the old creatives, apart from amv._____

old creatives get tossed aside once the creative juice has been squeezed out of them. it's a cruel biz kids. you're on your own.

AMv creative said...

wAMV is not the rest home for the terminally overpaid that it used to be. The Browns, Hortons, Fosters etc are now plying their trades elsewhere and the dept is now full of so-so middlers and a few good-but-not-great others. You used to be able to name the department (Carty, Campbell, Briginshaw, Duffy, Gorse, Worthington, Hudson, Fallon, Gary Martin, etc.) Now you'd be hard-pressed to name five (Riley...um...Hannett and Buchanan, Mike Durban...).

The network squeeze is on, boys and girls.

Anonymous said...

Is Kate Moss not out of Bed yet?

Steve H said...

The reason there aren't a lot of old creatives populating London creative departments is as a direct result of money.

Don't believe it's got anything to do with younger creatives being more cutting edge and up to date with what's going on - it's not - a good creative is a good creative at any age.

What happens is creatives start out poor and single and happy with a crap bedsit, the pub and the club. But then they get married, buy a house, have a couple of kids, buy a bigger house, bigger car etc.

Suddenly, they need to be paid the sort of salaries you expect to be paid in a so called professional industry.

Trouble is - creatives aren't at the relationship end of the business and facetime with the client (with a few notable exceptions) is limited.

So, holding company wants more from your agency bottom line. You can't dispose of the account people and the planners who the client likes and has dinner with and pays for his blow jobs so the guys walking around with targets on their backs are the older creatives holding down the bigger salaries.

The Chairman makes some statement to Campaign like, "what we need in this industry is new blood, raw talent" etc and there you are.

The moral of this story. Work hard, try to win awards but don't allow the agency to put you in a position where you're invisible.

Anonymous said...

If you're doing great work that builds the client's business and the agency's reputation and you're being fairly paid for your contribution, you won't have a target on your back. Unless of course you're a twisted, bitter arsehole who pisses off thise around you. In which case you deserve to get fired, regardless of what you earn.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I should earn good money because I'm helping make the world a better place.

I think I should make good money because I am such an outstandingly talented and clever person.

marketing assistant said...

Cheer up, you could be a client. This week's Marketing 'salary snapshot' says:"The average marketing assistant is 25 years old and reports to a marketing manager. Their responsibilities are likely to include market research and analysis and design and production of promotional material. The best-paid, in London, earn an average of £20,348, £5,806 more than their worst-paid counterparts in Scotland. Those working for firms with a turnover of £100m-£200m can expect above-average earnings of £17,226."

Robbie Rae said...

No wonder they fucking hate us