Just over one quarter (26 per cent) said none of their clients were prioritising these areas, and 39 per cent said only a small number were doing so. Only four per cent said they were seeing it across all their clients.
One respondent to the Pulse Check survey, conducted by PR sector research company Question & Retain (Q&R) this month, said most clients paid only "lip service" to ethical and responsible practices.
Another suggested that such practices were "nice to have rather than an essential necessity in business", and one agency boss said the issue was "not something [the client] ever discussed".
Another senior director added: "We have some clients in the public sector and they are minded to ensure that any work adheres to ethical policies of their organisation as part of the buying process."
Q&R co-founder Annabel Dunstan said: "The results from our Pulse Check would imply we still have some way to go in helping clients articulate their ethical and responsible practices. This in turn presents itself as an attractive organic growth opportunity for any discerning account lead on the agency side."