B&T Exclusive: The Real Cost Of Burnout In Australia’s Ad & Marketing Industries

As the industry moves to cut costs in response to shrinking ad spend, one area that is often overlooked in the cost-cutting drive is that of the cost of unhealthy work practices and subsequent poor mental health. In this exclusive, B&T looks at the real cost of stress and burnout. 

When it comes to mental health and well-being, the advertising, media, and marketing industry isn’t exactly famed for its kale smoothies, early nights, and work-life balance. For many, enthralled by shows such as Mad Men, the industry can offer a work-hard, play-hard environment, with glitzy parties, work trips to die for, and pictures that will make your Instagram pals emerald with envy. 

Set in the “golden age” of advertising, Mad Men doesn’t show the healthiest lifestyle

However, the hangover of the work hard, play hard lifestyle is starting to add up.  The latest 2022 Mentally Healthy by Unltd showed that nearly half of the media, advertising, and marketing industry (46 percent) displayed mild to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety, and only 47 per cent of people said they had enough time to do their work. 

Whilst the same report did, thankfully, show a dramatic increase in employers taking mental health seriously – nearly 50 per cent of employees struggling with mild to severe depression and anxiety is still very high and can be reflected in the industry’s high turnover which remains significantly above the national average.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), reported that the average turnover rate was 9.5 per cent for the year ending February 2022. 

In the media industry, the turnover rate for 2022 was 36.1 per cent (according to data from the MFA’S latest census), with the vast bulk of these (32.6 per cent) put as “regrettable losses”.

Given that it

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