MFA Census: Women In Management AND Staff Churn On The Rise

MFA Census: Women In Management AND Staff Churn On The Rise

A new Media Federation of Australia (MFA) Census reveals continued transformation of the media agency landscape, with population growth and more women in management.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

The MFA released its 2016 Media Communications Agency Industry Census today, revealing continued industry population growth driven by the ongoing diversification of media agency services. The census is based on MFA member agencies, with those who contributed representing 98% of the MFA member agency population.

According to the census results, the media agency industry population has grown 5.8 per cent YOY, which marks an 86 per cent increase over the last five years. Growth is across both traditional (up 4.9 per cent) and non-traditional (up 7.4 per cent) sectors.

Media agencies continue to transform, offering clients a growing portfolio of services. Some 35 per cent of MFA member agencies’ roles are in non-traditional areas such as digital, creative services and analytics. However, digital is now becoming the norm and less a separate, specialised area.

The census also highlighted continued positive growth in the number of women in management. Some 42 per cent of management roles in the media agency industry are held by women, compared with the national average of 33 per cent.

“It’s pleasing to report the continued growth of our industry population, and to see it continue to evolve and diversify,” says Sophie Madden, CEO of the MFA. “Today’s media agency industry is about so much more than just buying and planning. However the census also highlights the challenge our members face in people management; recruiting, training and retaining talent to keep pace with this growth.”

Regrettable loss (staff churn) has increased to 31 per cent, (vs 26.8 per centin 2014), following eight years of steady reduction. This figure is on a par with trends in the UK, where regrettable loss for 2015 grew to 30 per cent. The increased regrettable loss in Australia is as a direct result of increased numbers of people leaving the media agency industry permanently; 9.4 per cent in 2015 vs 4.9 per cent in 2014.

“While our industry is managing a period of unprecedented change, the increase in the number of good people leaving permanently is a cause for concern,” says Peter Horgan, Chairman of the MFA and CEO of OMD Australia. “In this environment, you adapt or perish, but non stop pitching as a perceived solution to trust issues exacerbates the problem. A merry go round of pitch promises and the extra workload, and the resource allocation away from solving client problems is a vicious cycle of burnout and under delivery. It’s an industry- wide problem and one that we need to address collectively”

Other findings include:

  • A record number of 378 new graduates entered the industry last year – more than double the number five years’ ago
  • 96 per cent of the media industry is based in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
  • Six per cent vacancy rate remains static