Forty-two per cent of respondents said they expected growth in billings this year, while the same amount said they expected no change.
The results contrast with last year’s results, when 57 per cent thought that there would be no change and the remainder thought things would get worse (PRWeek, 26 September 2003). However, the survey revealed that profit margins were on the decline, despite increases in overall billings.
The HCA blames a ‘focus on procurement’ for the margin squeeze, plus problems attracting quality staff.
Nineteen agencies took part in the survey. No respondents anticipated a reduction in staff this year, in contrast to 14 per cent that did so last year. Nearly 70 per cent said they were likely to be recruiting.