The American Movie Channel’s series Mad Men depicts Madison Avenue advertising executives during the 1960s. Back then people wore suits and dresses to work every day and smoked in the office. The means of delivering advertising was largely in print and television advertising was the new and developing medium.
The need for advertising and public relations services has not changed since the days of Mad Men. Advertising is still an essential part of business. It’s needed to gain attention and sell a product whether it’s a consumer product, political candidate or government program.
Despite the similarities, some things have changed. Many companies have more casual dress codes and people don’t smoke in the office anymore. Print and television are declining as a share of overall advertising revenue and the Internet and email are taking over as the developing ways to deliver advertising.
Oregon advertising and public relations firms employ nearly 6,000 workers (Graph 1). It was hard-hit during the Great Recession as advertising dollars dried up, losing about 730, or 13.7 percent of its jobs compared with an 8.5 percent loss for all industries. Since the recession, the industry has grown rapidly, adding 1,250 jobs (27%) to reach about 5,900 in early 2014.
Another thing that has not changed since the days of Mad Men is that the industry is characterized by some very highly paid executives and creative people in art and writing who then rely on a variety of lower paid workers to produce and deliver their work. Three industries stand out for high pay: advertising agencies ($83,623), public relations agencies ($71,889) and media buying agencies ($100,432). Two stand out for their low average pay: advertising material distribution services ($23,595) and other services related to advertising ($18,465).
For more on advertising and public relations in Oregon, read Brian Rooney's full article: Advertising and Public Relations - the Mad Men of Oregon?