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What % of the total budget do creative shops typically take as agency fee?

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It doesn’t work that way. You negotiate the entire contract (which may or may not include production) upfront. Then media is handled separately, unless it’s an all-in-one shop and then the media fees are also negotiated based on plan assumptions. If you’re asking a profit margin question, HoldCo agencies aim for 20% margins. But, they may accept a project or client with a lower overall margin if they think it’ll be a positive to the agency beyond just money. Smaller and independent shops may operate with different margin desires

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For project-based clients

As much as they feel they can get away with

I’d imagine agencies can’t get away with the margins we used to.

That’s not how it works anymore for the most part. It’s more of cost plus scoping based on expected hour for specific projects

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