Big agency role for freelancers

A MOVE away from traditional full-time employment in the advertising industry has produced a strong freelance market for agencies to access.

While the big Perth advertising agencies continue to employ full-time creative departments some smaller agencies are able to save money by using freelance creative staff.

Core Marketing managing director Yvonne Renshaw said freelance workers allowed the business to select the most appropriate person for a job.

“With a broader base you can pick people whose skills are appropriate to the clients’ needs and you can add on or drop off as areas become more specialised,” Ms Renshaw said.

Core Marketing uses five freelance teams with creative directors on an ongoing basis.

Ms Renshaw believes it reflects an ongoing global trend towards a more flexible workforce.

“Seven years ago freelancers were really people who couldn’t get full-time work, they were generally people for brochure production or semi-retired, they were fairly middleweight creatives,” Ms Renshaw said.

“We now have a freelance market that has got a lot stronger and we’re bringing that market to clients.”

Breakthrough Corporation has re-cently restructured its business to use freelance creatives exclusively for creative work.

Managing director Rudy Labordus said the move allowed the company to use specific skills for individual client projects.

“We’ve changed the formula, we’re now paying freelancers rather than having employees sitting around when the work is not there,” Mr Labordus said.

“There are advantages to having full-time employees the negatives are the ones you really want are popular and in demand.”

John Barnett, director of Brains Trust, started working as a freelance creative several years ago after returning to Perth from Melbourne and his business that began with just a couple of clients has steadily grown.

As a freelance employee for advert-ising agencies Mr Barnett is able to complete work away from the distractions of management structures and office politics.

“I really like it, I’ve always worked mad hours and this gives me the chance to work when I want to – it gives me the flexibility to be more on hand to my family,” Mr Barnett said.

Despite a smaller number of creative opportunities for freelance creatives in Perth, more demanding marketing clients and the rapid growth of the freelance market is creating more exciting opportunities for freelance staff.

Freelance creative Pete Ross said the work flow tends to run a bit hot and cold, and it’s a constant job to keep knocking on doors to let advertising agencies know you’re available.

“I enjoy it because you don’t have an agency structure to get bogged down in and the money’s good,” Mr Ross said.

“Perth has an ever-diminishing advertising market and on the other side companies are getting a lot savvier, I think there’s a lot of clients out there saying well I know what I want to do so let’s just get freelancers in to interpret it.”

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