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SURVEY SHOWS ADVERTISING AND MARKETING EXECUTIVES ANTICIPATE MIDYEAR HIRING

MENLO PARK, CA -- Advertising and marketing executives who cut back on hiring as a result of the recession say they expect to add staff in the second and third quarters of 2002, a recent survey shows. Fifty-nine percent of those polled said that during the downturn they had put staffing plans on hold or decreased staffing activity. Among this group, more than a quarter (27 percent) anticipate recruiting in the second quarter.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives with the nation's 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "How have your hiring efforts been affected by the recession?" Their responses:

Hiring activity has increased significantly   2%
Hiring activity has increased somewhat   15%
Hiring activity is on hold   37%
Hiring activity has decreased somewhat   9%
Hiring activity has decreased significantly   13%
There's been no change in hiring activity     24%
    100%

Those who reported that hiring activity had declined or was on hold were asked, "When do you expect to resume hiring?" Their responses:

2nd quarter, 2002   27%
3nd quarter, 2002   25%
4nd quarter, 2002   17%
Other   8%
Don't know     23%
    100%

"The hiring outlook within the creative industry is one of cautious optimism," said Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group. "Companies that cancelled or delayed marketing initiatives as a result of the economic downturn are beginning to move forward with these projects in anticipation of a recovery."

Turner noted that increased use of freelance professionals is often an early indicator that business is improving. "Firms frequently bring in creative talent on a project basis to meet growing workload demands until they are confident that budgets will allow the addition of full-time staff."

The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada
and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.


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