Welcome to the IAPI Census 2018

Discover what our members are reporting and predicting about the Irish Advertising Marketing & Media sectors

The Advertising, Creative Marketing & Media industry is a vital part of the Growth Engine for Ireland Inc. Our purpose is to promote and enhance our reputation as a results-focused industry, continually helping to improve its’ effectiveness and so grow our members’ business.
Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI

The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) is the trade body representing agencies across the full spectrum: creative, media planning and buying, digital, experiential and full service.

Every year we commission Amárach Research to conduct a survey of our members to capture key industry data. The research also captured insights, trends and forecasts from senior stakeholders in our member organisations.

This is now the Go-to-Guide for information for an industry that is worth at least €1bn to the Irish Economy and is estimated to employ 5,500 people, both directly and indirectly.

We had a 79% response rate to this year’s survey. Of the 53 agencies invited to participate data was submitted by 42 members – 20 Creative agencies and 22 Media agencies - representing just over 1,800 employees.

We’d like to thank all the Agency Leaders, especially the Financial Directors for their support in providing such detailed and invaluable information.

See all the agencies who participated here.

Explore our 2018 highlights

Industry Highlights


We remain a big contributor to the Irish economy

Employment across participating members has remained the same year-on-year at just over 1,800. However, the scale of our industry is now much bigger, as we are estimated to directly and indirectly employ 5,500 people, worth €1bn to the Irish Economy.


With hiring expected to increase in the coming year...

Hiring continues to be a priority for all our members with over half foreseeing an increase in staffing levels for their business in the coming year.


But in saying this we’re all feeling the margin squeeze.

Profit margin stands at 9.8% compared to 10.9% last year reflecting the ongoing squeeze on margins being experienced by both Creative & Media agencies.


When it comes to gender balance at senior levels, we’re making progress

Females taking on senior positions (Chair/CEO/Managing Director/Managing Partner) has risen from 20% in 2017 to 31% this year. However, female Board Directors remain at the same levels as last year at 28%.


And we compare well when it comes to attracting and retaining the Millennial generation...

Our industry has a lot to offer the Millennial generation and as such they make up approximately three quarters of our total workforce. At 18%, our retention rates are higher than the industry average of 21% meaning we are retaining numbers well.


Like last year, strategic skills are still in high demand.

38% of respondents state that they have skills gaps in the strategic department. Possibly more so than ever as the industry seeks to provide the creative, digital and strategic thinking required by clients. And, also in response to the continued inroads into the world of marketing solutions by the Consultants.


Despite a definite feeling of uncertainty in the air...

Economic uncertainty is an issue for our industry in much the same way as for other industry sectors in Ireland with less than half (46%) anticipating an increase in the overall industry performance. Rising staff and location costs coupled with Brexit looming is certainly adding to this financial insecurity.


...we’re defiantly feeling confident in our own abilities...

Nearly two thirds (62%) of senior stakeholders foresee an increase in their own business over the year ahead with only 11% seeing a decrease.


As we continue to think and act globally.

Winning international business is very much on the agenda with 81% either actively pursuing global accounts or seeing increased business from existing global clients (38%). We predict that our industry’s presence and reputation on the European if not Global stage will increase considerably over the next 3-5 years.