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In an age where innovation is a key factor to business success, many ad and marketing executives are itching for more creative freedom on the job, according to a survey from The Creative Group.

Nearly one-half of surveyed ad and marketing executives say companies don't take enough risk:

  • 35% of ad execs say their agencies don't take enough risk with creative projects, and another 7% say such agencies "play it much too safe." 
  • 25% of marketing exes say their firms don't take enough risk, and another 18% say such firms "play it much too safe."

Another one-half say risk levels are right on: 46% of ad execs and 45% of marketing execs say their companies take on an appropriate level of risk with creative projects. Meanwhile, fewer than one in twenty ad and marketing execs say "too many risks are taken."

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By contrast, in the 2008 survey—conducted at the height of the financial crisis—companies appeared to be more risk-averse. Asked the same question, nearly two-thirds of marketing execs reported their firms were not taking enough risk (44%) or playing it much too safe (21%). 

More ad agencies, however, appeared to stay the course during the crisis period, with less than one-half of ad execs reporting their agencies were not taking enough risk (38%) or playing it much too safe (7%).

About the data: Findings from the 2011 survey of 500 US ad and marketing executive, conducted in February 2011. Findings from the 2008 survey are based on interviews among 250 ad and marketing execs, conducted in August 2008.

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