London: Advertising and Marketing Mecca
Clients are starting to spend money again
If you fancy yourself as the next Don Draper, the sharp-suited adman from the hit TV series Mad Men, you’ll be happy to hear that London’s marketing industry is bouncing back after a tough 12 months.
It may not be as glamorous as it was back in Don’s day – it’s more long hours than long lunches – but London is home to a slew of top global agencies, providing plenty of opportunities for creative types and ‘suits’ alike.Multi-Skilled Candidates
According to Charlie Shrager from Major Players, the industry is in much better shape than it was this time last year.
“The economic climate meant the industry was hit badly last year. But now the market is pretty healthy and clients are starting to spend money
again,” she says.
Many UK agencies are moving towards an integrated communications approach, but the traditional model of Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) is still popular so flexibility is key for ‘ideas people’ such as copywriters, art directors, designers and creative teams.
Employers are looking for multi-skilled candidates, so there is healthy demand for artworkers who can also cross over to design and retouching.
“And designers are especially in demand at the moment,” says Shrager.Need for Account Handlers
Things are looking up for suits too, with ATL agencies increasing looking for solid account handlers with a wider range of skills and experience.
Employers are keen on digital, integrated and PR experience, as well as traditional account handling and project management skills.
“Activation and promotional marketing and retail are very healthy, while financial services is also very buoyant,” says Shrager.Antipodean Attitude Favoured
Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans remain popular with employers. “Employers really like the attitude they come in with,” says Shrager. “They are snapped up because of their open-mindedness. They’re seen as adaptable, hands-on and competent.” Freelancing vs. Permanent
“Freelancing is an individual choice,” says Shrager. “It gives creatives exposure to brands, but their book suffers. They won’t get sexy jobs and they won’t get to see projects through to completion.
“The rewards are there financially but if the focus is on career growth, and people want to move into senior management positions, take a permanent role.”Word of Mouth
Shrager recommends finding a specialist recruitment consultant and having a persistent attitude. “Word of mouth is important when looking for a headhunter,” Shrager says.
“Candidates also come in and then wait to be called. It’s up to you to stay front-of-mind so make sure you ring once a week.”
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