Top ad agencies are starting to hire again. What WPP, IPG, and other holding companies offer diversity, data, and healthcare specialists.
- Ad agencies have cut thousands of jobs in the coronavirus pandemic, but agencies are still hiring in certain areas.
- The biggest growth areas are healthcare and precision marketing, while chief diversity officer is the hottest job right now, with pay going up to $350,000.
- Business Insider reviewed a number of top open positions ranging from a chief strategy officer paying up to $400,000 to a managing director paying up to $500,000.
The ad industry is going through its most dramatic contraction in decades, with revenue at the major holding companies down by double-digits and thousands of jobs lost as clients cut spending.
Yet the biggest agencies are looking for executives to fill top positions, according to current openings at the five largest ad holding companies, public job listings, and top industry recruiters.
Agency CEOs are looking for heads of new business, managing directors, and execs who specialize in fields like healthcare and ecommerce. Many are re-examining their C-suites, even if they’re not ready to make headlining hires, said Claire Telling, CEO of executive search firm Grace Blue.
Healthcare and precision marketing are the top growth areas
Sasha Martens, president of creative recruiting firm Sasha the Mensch, said his agency clients are staffing up to service healthcare and pharma accounts, sectors that have been relatively insulated in the pandemic.
At Omnicom, for example, healthcare was the only area of growth during the second quarter of 2020, and a disproportionate number of job listings across holding companies are in its agencies’ health specialty divisions.
Another hot spot at holding companies is precision marketing, where agencies get paid when customers take an action or make a purchase and where startup agencies that focus on performance marketing have introduced new competition.
Chief diversity officer is the single hottest job, with pay going up to $350,000
The big ad agencies also are aggressively hiring chief diversity officers or their equivalent as holding companies examine their diversity staffing records, revealing that fewer than 3% of executives are Black.
“Companies can no longer get away with not having a very strong diversity and inclusion policy,” Telling said.
Several big agencies including Omnicom Health Group, Goodby Silverstein and Partners, and IPG’s Hill Holliday have open listings for this role. The job is commensurate with other C-suite roles, and salaries can range from $250,000 to $350,000, Telling said.
Telling and Martens have also seen significant change in contract negotiations. Signing bonuses have dropped in the wake of holding companies enacting pay cuts, while incoming executives are more focused on safety net severance packages than in the past.
Here are top openings at the five largest ad holding companies
The salaries and salary ranges for the jobs below are estimates based on, variously, the US Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification visa database, pay rates taken from the listings themselves, and those for similar jobs on platforms like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter.
Dentsu is hiring an SVP of impact, data and technology at Carat, which pays up to $200,000
- HR director, Merkle: $75,000 to $100,000
- Analytics manager, iProspect: $120,000
- Paid search manager, Merkle: $90,000 to $135,000
- VP, group media director, Merkle: $130,000 to $165,000
- SVP, impact, data and technology, Carat: $175,000 to $200,000
- Executive creative director, 360i: $200,000 to $350,000
IPG is hiring a chief strategy officer at FutureBrand, which pays up to $400,000
- Director of digital partnerships, Initiative: $90,000 to $120,000
- VP, account director, oncology, Area23: $150,000 to $175,000
- Group director of product management, Huge: $150,000 to $200,000
- SVP, creative director, McCann Health: $175,000 to $250,000
- General manager, EVP of data and identity products, Acxiom: $250,000 to $310,000
- Chief strategy officer, FutureBrand: $200,000 to $400,000
Omnicom is hiring an SVP, group strategy director at Omnicom Health Group, which pays up to $250,000
- Supervisor of audience insights, NatGeo, OMD: $80,000 to $90,000
- Business development representative, CDM: $80,000 to $100,000
- Product manager, Apple, TBWA\Media Arts Lab: $100,000 to $125,000
- Account director, health and wellness, DDB: $120,000 to $170,000
- Senior account director, Omnicom Health Group: $125,000 to $200,000
- VP, associate creative director, TBWA\Worldhealth: $150,000 to $225,000
- SVP, group strategy director, Omnicom Health Group: $175,000 to $250,000
Publicis is hiring a creative director at Publicis Health, which pays $180,000
- Senior project manager, Razorfish Health: $90,000 to $110,000
- Director of business development, restaurants, Epsilon: $100,000 to $135,000
- Director of digital strategy, Digitas Health: $130,000 to $160,000
- Creative director, Publicis Health: $180,000
- VP, product management, Epsilon: $150,000 to $200,000
- Director of technology, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness: $150,000 to $200,000
WPP is hiring a managing director at Ogilvy Chicago, which pays up to $500,000
- Director of planning, Danone, Wavemaker: $100,000 to $130,000
- Director of shopper marketing, Team Unilever, GroupM: $120,000 to $150,000
- VP, healthcare public relations, BCW: $135,000 to $160,000
- Medical director, VMLY&R: $140,000 to $170,000
- Associate creative director, Wunderman Health: $125,000 to $175,000
- VP, pharma strategy director, Grey: $150,000 to $200,000
- Managing director, Ogilvy Chicago: $250,000 to $500,000
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