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Corporate and commercial production

The corporate and commercial production industry represents those who produce commercials, corporate productions and pop promos. This industry produces high quality products, which can sometimes become part of the national culture. It has a highly creative and innovative workforce that have to operate in a fast moving industry.

Key statistics:

  • An estimated 10,750 people are employed in the content creation industry.
  • A high proportion of the workforce are freelancers or self-employed.

In corporate production:

  • There are an estimated 6,350 people working in the industry in around 220 businesses.
  • 71% of the workforce is male.
  • 6% of the workforce is from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background.
  • 2% report themselves as having a disability
  • 45% of the workforce is freelance or self-employed.

In commercials production:

  • There are 3,500 working in the industry.
  • 69% of the workforce is male.
  • 7% of the workforce is from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background.
  • 68% of the workforce is freelance or self-employed.

In pop promos:

  • There an estimated 900 working in the industry of which 64% is freelance or self-employed.


It is usual to start at the bottom in the industry as a Runner or Assistant, and work your way up. However, the sector may need people and skills from theatre, business TV and interactive media, graphic and set designers, entertainment, print, video, film and the web. The usual entry route to corporate production is ‘running’. Runners in the corporate sector can be well paid and the work provides new entrants with a platform on which to build their experience. Entry to commercials production is difficult and entrants have to be well connected. Work experience or being an observer can be beneficial for those trying to enter the industry, with working as an assistant the next step. Working on commercials is an accepted training route for people who want to work in feature film and is an area the film industry watches for emerging talent.

Commercials production is particularly concentrated in London, where the vast bulk of the decision-makers, advertising agencies, and a large proportion of the workforce are based. No-one is reported to be working in other content creation (including commercials, corporate production and pop promos) in the North East and Northern Ireland. However, employment numbers may be less than 100.

Source: Skillset AACS LMI report 2010