The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) has released its Spring 2024 Sentiment Survey results, capturing a comprehensive snapshot of the industry's mood and outlook. The survey, conducted in March 2024, gathered responses from 473 industry professionals, revealing a prevailing sense of optimism despite ongoing economic challenges.

The 2024 survey highlights several key findings. Firstly, a striking 66% of respondents anticipate their agencies will perform better in 2024 compared to the previous year, with only 6% predicting a worse performance – a positive shift from last year's sentiments.

Furthermore, an impressive 72% of participants expressed pride in working within the advertising, media, and communications sectors. This sentiment is particularly strong among experiential agencies, where 89% of employees feel proud of their work. Job security and longevity also emerged as significant themes, with 81% of respondents feeling secure in their current roles, and 62% planning to remain in the industry for at least five years. This sense of stability is especially notable among senior managers, leaders, and directors.

However, the survey also reveals that despite the positive outlook, 33% of respondents report being consistently stressed at work and this increases to 40% at management level. Significant contributing factors to high stress levels are the short turnaround times expected, and pitching. In fact, half of the leaders who responded cite this as a significant contributor to their stress levels.

Financial pressures are mounting, with nearly 90% of employees experiencing reduced disposable income over the past year, and 72% of starter level respondents struggling to make ends meet. Unsurprisingly, housing costs take up nearly a third of disposable income on average. Only 1 in 5 starters feel they have enough money to do the things they enjoy and while this doubles at management level, it is still only 40%.

Work-life balance and hybrid working models are evidently working well for the industry, as two-thirds of respondents believe they maintain a good work-life balance. A significant 75% still believe they have fun at work, reflecting the most positive aspect of agency life. However, 64% of respondents find maintaining agency culture challenging in a hybrid work environment.

Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI commented, “The 2024 Sentiment Survey underscores the resilience and optimism that define our industry, even in the face of significant challenges. It is heartening to see such strong pride and commitment among our professionals. However, as with all Irish industries, we need to address the rising stress levels and financial pressures to ensure a sustainable and supportive work environment. Our collective focus on sustainability and DEI initiatives will also be crucial as we navigate the year ahead."

The IAPI Sentiment Survey offers valuable insights that will guide the industry in fostering a positive and inclusive environment while addressing the challenges that lie ahead. Download the detailed 2024 survey results.