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How to Get Ahead in Advertising: Be American

If you want to get a job in the advertising business, these charts give one important piece of advice: Either be an American or be in America. That's where all the growth -- and therefore the hiring -- is.

It doesn't feel much like an economic boom given that unemployment is still above 9 percent. But in advertising, about half of recessionary job losses have already been won back. Omnicom (OMC), the largest American ad agency holding company, has hired back exactly half the number of employees it let go during the recession.

Omnicom had 68,000 employees at its height, the end of 2008. At the bottom of the recession, in 2009, only 63,000 people worked for Omnicom's agencies, which include, BBDO, DDB and TBWA. Five thousand people had been let go as clients cut their marketing to weather the storm. Since then, headcount at Omnicom has rebounded to 65,500 people, the company said in its Q4 2010 earnings release:


The strongest growth at the international advertising firm is coming from the U.S., where it saw a 12.7 percent organic growth in revenues in Q4 2010. In Europe, by contrast, growth was only half that:


The same thing happened at Publicis (PUB), the French ad agency holding group. Its North American revenues grew 18.6 percent compared to Europe's 6.3 percent:


Latin America outshines both Europe and the U.S. in terms of growth but those economies are much smaller -- there are fewer total job opportunities. If you want to get ahead in advertising, Madison Avenue is once again the place to be.

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Image by Flickr user BigMick, CC.