What is an advertising agency? An advertising agency creates, plans and supervise all aspects of a client’s advertising. Advertisers prefer advertiser agency rather than having an independent advertising department because of the following reasons:

  1. Skilled Personnel: Advertising agencies employ highly skilled and experienced copywriters, art designers, media planners, market researchers, typographers and a host of other experts. They are not only highly experienced but also highly paid. Very few manufacturers could afford the luxury to buy full-time services of people belonging to such caliber. Moreover, even if they could, they would miss out on the other great agency asset – accumulated experience in handling diverse accounts.
  2. Better Ideas: Agencies work on a number of accounts. They know the success and failure of the various approaches used by the advertisers. They can generate new and better ideas to penetrate the target market.
  3. Independent Analysis of Problems: Companies have difficulty in analyzing their own problems objectively and here outside and the independent agency can do the job much better.
  4. Cost – Effective: The advertiser finds it less expensive to employ an agency rather than to do the advertising works all by themselves by having a separate advertising department. Although the advertiser may run ads throughout the year, the services of the creative and advertising production people may be required only for a few days or months as the same ads are generally repeated.
  5. Easy to Divorce: If the advertiser maintains a separate full-fledged advertising department, it is not so easy to terminate the services of advertising department (due to trade unionism) but the advertiser may not face any difficulty in changing the advertising agency.
  6. Enthusiasm of Advertising Agency: The motivation and the enthusiasm with which the agency works (in order to retain the client’s account) may be lacking with the advertising department.
  7. Additional Services: The advertising agency may provide a number of other services such as research, sales promotion, etc. which the advertising department may not be able to do such services effectively and efficiently.
  8. Media Contacts: The agencies do have better media contacts and as such, they can book prime time and space for their clients, which an advertising department may not be able to do so.


The primary role of advertising agency is planning and creating advertising campaigns for its clients and placing advertisements in various media. The process of planning consists of researching the market for a given product or service, assessing alternative methods of distribution and choosing the most effective way to reach the market. The agency then creates the advertising campaign and contracts for time and space with selected media.

Some advertising agencies provide select advertising services like creative development or media placement. Others provide a full range of advertising, public relations, research, promotion, and related marketing support. Some of the different kinds of services provided by advertising agencies include:

Media planning, buying, placement and negotiation for placement

Creative development of advertising and collateral materials

Production of creative materials

Marketing planning

Market research

The ultimate objectives of advertising agencies include helping advertisers attain sales objectives, market share, and long-term profitability


The organization structure differs from agency to agency depending upon their specialized departments. Further, the structure may also differ depending on the size of the advertising agency. The following chart shows the organization structure of a typical advertising agency, which is diversified and handling most of the components of the advertising industry;

*Copy & Art


*Account Supervision

*Office Management



*Account Exec



*Sales Promotion



The steps any organization should consider in selecting an advertising or public relations firm for your association are about the same for either service:

Define exactly what you want the agency to do. Be precise in identifying the services you need. Communicate the size and scope of the budget you are willing to commit to the service. Commit the information to a written document.

Create a selection team. Keep it small and include those who may have previous marketing experience or knowledge. Including your association’s key decision-makers will help you reach a consensus when it’s time to make the final selection.

Look for firms whose qualifications and size are appropriate to your needs.

Create a target list of agencies and request information from them.

Let the agencies know you are making a preliminary inquiry and that you would simply like to acquaint yourself with the agency and their particular services and strengths.

Review the responses and contact the firms that you want to interview. Provide them with background information on both your association and your scope of the assignment. Clearly, communicate that your interview is preliminary and that you simply want to meet the people involved to assess whether the firm can handle your work. Let each agency know when you will notify them of your “short list.”

After the interviews, invite two or three firms to make presentations.

Provide a clear expectation of what you want to see and how you want to see it (e.g., PowerPoint, boards, slides). Let each agency know how much time they will have to make their presentation.

Give each agency the same information, including criteria and specific directions for addressing your organization. You want to see how agencies think and strategize. The actual creative solutions agencies develop will be based on input you provide them later.

Review how well they understand your assignment. Get acquainted with the agency’s range of capabilities, know where you will stand within their current client mix, and get a sense of the working chemistry between you and the agency staff.

Make your selections and notifications. Once you have fielded presentations, agree on a selection and personally notify principals of the agencies who were not selected. A personal call will reflect well on you and your association and will earn you the respect of the agencies that participated. Your final notification should be the agency you select, which pre-empts the possibility of leaking your decision before the others are notified.

Agree on a contract. The agency selected will provide you with a written contract that spells out the terms of your business relationship. Contracts will generally include the payment terms and conditions, services to be rendered, and termination clauses. The specific contract will depend on the agency and the specified needs of your association.