Study provides a snapshot of agency life prior to the pandemic

Oct 22, 2020
A survey released today by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) and strategy provides a snapshot into the state of agency life prior to the pandemic.

“While the findings in our 2020 Agency Salary Study are less relevant today due to the enormous impact of COVID-19 on the agency sector, we know that it will serve as a useful baseline as we recover from the pandemic.” said John Wiltshire, the CMA’s president and CEO.

The creative, media and PR agencies who participated in the survey indicated that almost two-thirds of their C-suite executives were women, and that male executives were earning 12% more than their female counterparts. About three-quarters (73%) of agencies had protocols for achieving gender balance, ranging from formal protocols (5%) to informal protocols (50%) and case-by-case planning (18%).

“It’s important to have foundational data as achieving equity requires more salary band transparency,” said Mary Maddever, SVP, editorial director Brunico / strategy publisher. “We hope to see the gaps closing next year.”

Some of the HR pain points that the marketing sector needs to address include talent development and retention, salary management, and diversity and inclusion. From a diversity standpoint, nearly three-quarters (73%) of agencies report having protocols for hiring members of diverse communities for the highest-level positions, including formal (9%), informal (55%) and case-by-case (9%) protocols.

All agencies participating in the study offered some form of performance incentives to employees at the time, such as cash bonuses (69%), employee referral bonuses (58%) and perks (54%). Only 8% of agencies allowed employees to accept gifts from suppliers and partners.

As the pandemic eases and businesses rebuild, survey participants will be able to use salary information and other insights to strengthen their working environments and attract new talent to the industry.

Thirty-seven agencies an average FTE of 42 people (range of 1 to 250) participated in the survey between January and March 2020.

The survey was conducted by was conducted by RK Insights. Topline results are available only to agencies who participated in the research. The CMA, strategy and survey participants do not have access to individual company data.

About the Canadian Marketing Association
The CMA is the voice of the marketing profession in Canada. We serve more than 400 corporate, not-for-profit, public and post-secondary members, including Canada’s most prestigious brands. Our community also includes creative, media, and PR agencies, research firms, management consulting firms, technology companies and other suppliers to the marketing community. We support activities related to thought-leadership, professional development, consumer protection, and commercial success. We act as the primary advocate for marketing with governments, regulators and other stakeholders. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation ensures that marketing professionals are highly qualified and up to date with best practices. We champion self-regulatory standards, including the mandatory Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards.

About strategy
Strategy uncovers and shares the "bold vision, brand new ideas" of Canada's national marketing community. Strategy delivers on this tagline via strategy magazine, industry leading conferences, recognition programs plus online news via strategy Daily, strategy marketing C-Suite, strategy Shopper Marketing, as well as sister publications Media in Canada and Stimulant.

For more information or to schedule an interview:
Shane Madill, Kaiser Lachance Communications,, 647.725.2520 x207.




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