Advertising agency

From Academic Kids

An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising (and sometimes other forms of promotion) for their clients. An ad agency is independent from the client and provides a outside point of view to the effort of selling the client's products or services. An agency can also handle overall marketing and branding strategies and sales promotions for its clients.

Typical ad agency clients include businesses and corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Agencies may be hired to produce single ads or, more commonly, ongoing series of related ads, called an advertising campaign.

Ad agencies come in all sizes, from small one- or two-person shops to large multi-national, multi-agency conglomerates such as Omnicom Group or WPP Group.

Some agencies specialize in particular types of advertising, such as print ads or television commercials. Other agencies, especially larger ones, produce work for many types of media (creating integrated marketing communications, or through-the-line (TTL) advertising). The "line", in this case, is the traditional marker between media that pay a (traditionally 15%) commission to the agency (mainly broadcast media) and the media that do not.

Not all advertising is created by agencies. Companies that create and plan their own advertising are said to do their work in house.

Agency personnel

The creative department -- the people who create the actual ads -- form the core of an advertising agency. Modern advertising agencies usually form their copywriters and art directors into creative teams. Creative teams may be permanent partnerships or formed on a project-by-project basis. The art director and copywriter report to a creative director, usually a creative employee with several years of experience. Although copywriters have the word "write" in their job title, and art directors have the word "art", one does not necessarily write the words and the other draw the pictures; they both generate creative ideas to represent the proposition (the advertisement or campaign's key message).

The other major department in ad agencies is account services or account management. Account service employees work directly with clients and potential clients, soliciting business for the ad agency and determining what clients need and want the agency to do for them. Often client services employees do the account planning on the accounts under their control; however, in many agencies, specialist account planners are employed to "represent the consumer" (in other words, to take what the client wants to say and work out how best to communicate this to the consumer, utilising data and reports from, often outsourced, research agencies and services).

The creative services department may not be so well known, but its employees are the people who have contacts with the suppliers of various creative media. For example, they will be able to advise upon and negotiate with printers if an agency is producing flyers for a client. However, when dealing with the major media (broadcast media, outdoor, and the press), this work is usually outsourced to a media agency which can advise on media planning and is normally large enough to negotiate prices down further than a single agency or client can.

In small agencies, employees may do both creative and account service work. Larger agencies attract people who specialize in one or the other, and indeed include a number of people in specialized positions: production work, Internet advertising, or research, for example.

Famous advertising agencies

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