Top advertisers seek senior marketers with agency backgrounds

Some 40% of the UK’s top 100 advertisers now have a marketing leader with an agency background.

Analysis by Grace Blue Partnership examined roles in central marketing functions at director, chief and vice president level at the end of 2016. The recruitment firm had anticipated the figure to be around a quarter based on observations made three years ago. And, based on current client briefs and candidates, it is believed the figure could reach 50%. The top sectors for hiring former agency talent were alcohol and gambling firms, followed by media owners and financial services businesses.

The study, The Migration Report, said the demand for greater diversity of experience has in part been driven by brands building their own inhouse agency capabilities, with 19 of the 100 having done this. In addition, 15% of businesses have hired a senior media exec, such as a chief media officer or head of media, as they take greater control of media planning and buying.

Ian Priest, global CEO at Grace Blue, said: “People are increasingly migrating across traditional lines and clients are wanting wider skills. As they bring agency services inhouse, brands are bringing in more skills to make sure they own the whole customer journey.”

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