Advertising agency
Overview
 
An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 (and sometimes other forms of promotion
Promotion (marketing)
Promotion is one of the four elements of marketing mix . It is the communication link between sellers and buyers for the purpose of influencing, informing, or persuading a potential buyer's purchasing decision....

) for its clients. An ad agency is independent from the client and provides an outside point of view to the effort of selling the client's products or services. An agency can also handle overall marketing
Marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 and brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

ing strategies and sales promotion
Sales promotion
Sales promotion is one of the four aspects of promotional mix. Media and non-media marketing communication are employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability...

s for its clients.

Typical ad agency clients include businesses and corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s, non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

s and government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 agencies.
Encyclopedia
An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 (and sometimes other forms of promotion
Promotion (marketing)
Promotion is one of the four elements of marketing mix . It is the communication link between sellers and buyers for the purpose of influencing, informing, or persuading a potential buyer's purchasing decision....

) for its clients. An ad agency is independent from the client and provides an outside point of view to the effort of selling the client's products or services. An agency can also handle overall marketing
Marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 and brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

ing strategies and sales promotion
Sales promotion
Sales promotion is one of the four aspects of promotional mix. Media and non-media marketing communication are employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability...

s for its clients.

Typical ad agency clients include businesses and corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s, non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

s and government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 agencies. Agencies may be hired to produce television commercials and radio commercial
Radio commercial
Commercial radio stations make most of their revenue selling “airtime” to advertisers. Of total media expenditures, radio accounts for 6.9%. Radio advertisements or “spots” are available when a business or service provides valuable consideration, usually cash, in exchange for the station airing...

s as part of an advertising campaign
Advertising campaign
An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication...

.

History

The first acknowledged advertising agency was William Taylor in 1786, another agency was started by James 'Jem' White in Fleet Street, London in 1800, and eventually evolved into White Bull Holmes a recruitment advertising agency, that went out of business in the late 1980s. In 1812 George Reynell, an officer at the London Gazette
London Gazette
The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published...

, set up another of the early advertising agencies also in London. This remained a family business until 1993, as 'Reynell & Son', and is now part of the TMP Worldwide agency (UK and Ireland) under the brand TMP
TMP
TMP can refer to any of the following:In chemistry:* Thymidine monophosphate, a nucleotide* Trimethyl phosphate, a solvent* Trimethylolpropane, a precursor to polymers* 2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidine, Organic Chemistry reagent* Trimethoprim, an antibiotic...

Reynell. Another early agency that traded until recently,was founded by Charles Barker, and the firm he established traded as 'Barkers' until 2009 when it went into Administration.

Volney B. Palmer opened the first American advertising agency, in Philadelphia in 1850. This agency placed ads produced by its clients in various newspapers.

In 1856 Mathew Brady
Mathew Brady
Mathew B. Brady was one of the most celebrated 19th century American photographers, best known for his portraits of celebrities and his documentation of the American Civil War...

 created the first modern advertisement when he placed an ad in the New York Herald
New York Herald
The New York Herald was a large distribution newspaper based in New York City that existed between May 6, 1835, and 1924.-History:The first issue of the paper was published by James Gordon Bennett, Sr., on May 6, 1835. By 1845 it was the most popular and profitable daily newspaper in the UnitedStates...

 paper offering to produce "photographs, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes." His ads were the first whose typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

 and font
Font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...

s were distinct from the text of the publication and from that of other advertisements. At that time all newspaper ads were set in agate and only agate. His use of larger distinctive fonts caused a sensation. Later that same year Robert Bonner ran the first full-page ad in a newspaper.

In 1864, William James Carlton began selling advertising space in religious magazines. James Walter Thompson
James Walter Thompson
James Walter Thompson was the namesake of the JWT advertising agency and a pioneer of many advertising techniques. He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts....

 joined this firm in 1868. Thompson rapidly became their best salesman, purchasing the company in 1877 and renaming it the James Walter Thompson Company
JWT
JWT is one of the largest advertising agencies in the United States and the fourth-largest in the world. It is one of the key companies of Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP Group and is headquartered in New York. The global agency is led by Worldwide Chairman and Global CEO Bob Jeffrey who took over the...

, which today is the oldest American advertising agency. Realizing that he could sell more space if the company provided the service of developing content for advertisers, Thompson hired writers and artists to form the first known Creative Department in an advertising agency. He is credited as the "father of modern magazine advertising" in the US.

Types of advertising agencies

Ad agencies come in all sizes and include everything from one or two-person shops (which rely mostly on freelance talent to perform most functions), small to medium sized agencies such as Traction (agency)
Traction (agency)
Traction is an interactive advertising agency based in San Francisco. Their clients includes Alibaba.com, Adobe Systems, Bank of America, Cabot Creamery, California Bank and Trust, Camelbak, Intuit, Intel, Livescribe, Meebo, Robert Half International, Salesforce.com, SAP, and Shutterfly, Walmart,...

, large independents such as SMART
SMART (advertising agency)
SMART is an independent Australian and New Zealand advertising agency with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Auckland. Launched in 2000 as a boutique creative agency, the business has been described by as "one of the best known independent advertising agency success stories" in...

 and multi-national, multi-agency conglomerates such as Omnicom Group
Omnicom Group
Omnicom Group is a holding company whose agencies provide marketing and communications services in the disciplines of advertising, customer relationship management , strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and...

, WPP Group, Publicis
Publicis
Publicis Groupe is a French multinational advertising and communications company, headquartered in Paris, France. It is one of the world's three largest advertising holding companies . Its current president is Maurice Lévy. Publicis Groupe S.A...

, Interpublic Group of Companies
Interpublic Group of Companies
The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. is one of the "big four" global advertising holding companies . Headquartered in New York City, it has 41,000 employees and reported full−year revenues of US$6.5 billion for 2010...

 and Havas
Havas
Havas is the second largest advertising group in France and is a "Global advertising and communications services group" and the sixth-largest global advertising and communications group worldwide, operating on the communications consulting market through three main operational divisions:*Euro RSCG...

.

Generalized advertising agencies

Creative agencies
Creative agency
A creative agency is an advertising agency that specializes in the creative work of creating advertisements / commercials, and may leave the buying of media space and time to a specialist media agency....

 specialize in "creative" or design-based business models: their basic interest is in the creation of the advertisement or branding. Other ("full-service") agencies offer design in conjunction with media buying
Media buying
Media Buying is a sub function of Advertising management. Media Buying is the procurement of the best possible placement and price of a piece of media real-estate within any given media...

. Media agencies
Media agency
A media agency is a company which help companies to communicate with current and potential consumers and/or the general public.These agencies work with their clients to understand the business issues, their markets and their consumers...

 concentrate on media buying. (In the 1990s, media and creative were often unbundled in the interests of economies of scale in buying media.)

The client who chooses to use a design only based advertising agency must assume some of the advertising purchasing. These are activities that are routinely handled by an agency with a media buying option. Media buying agencies are oftentimes a good choice for larger businesses. These agencies can assume greater responsibility for the strategic planning and function of an advertising campaign. The advantage to a design only-based agency is there is no third-party ordering the service. In turn, cost can be lower and is oftentimes a good alternative for smaller businesses.

Specialist advertising agencies

In addition to the full-service, general-line advertising agencies, there are also agencies that specialize in particular kinds of advertising: recruitment, help-wanted, medical, classified, industrial, financial, direct-response, retail, yellow pages, theatrical/entertainment, investment, travel, and so on.

Specialization occurs in such fields for a variety of reasons. Often, as in recruitment advertising, for example, specialized media or media uses are involved that require knowledge and expertise not ordinarily found in a general-line agency. In other cases, such as medical or industrial advertising, the subject is technical and requires that writers and artists have training in order to write meaningful advertising messages about it.

Such specialist advertising agencies are also usually "full-service," in that they offer all the basic advertising agency services in their area of specialization plus other, peripheral advertising services related to their area of specialization.

In-House advertising agencies

Some advertisers believe that they can provide such advertising services to themselves at a lower cost than would be charged by an outside agency.

Interactive agencies

Interactive agencies may differentiate themselves by offering a mix of web design
Web design
Web design is the process of planning and creating a website. Text, images, digital media and interactive elements are used by web designers to produce the page seen on the web browser...

/development, search engine marketing
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing, , is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion...

, internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 advertising/marketing, or e-business
Electronic business
Electronic business, commonly referred to as "eBusiness" or "e-business", or an internet business, may be defined as the application of information and communication technologies in support of all the activities of business...

/e-commerce consulting
Information technology consulting
Information technology consulting is a field that focuses on advising businesses on how best to use information technology to meet their business objectives...

. Interactive agencies rose to prominence before the traditional advertising agencies fully embraced the Internet. Offering a wide range of services, some of the interactive agencies grew very rapidly, although some have downsized just as rapidly due to changing market conditions. Today, the most successful interactive agencies are defined as companies that provide specialized advertising and marketing services for the digital space. The digital space is defined as any multimedia-enabled electronic channel that an advertiser's message can be seen or heard from. The 'digital space' translates to the Internet, kiosks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and lifestyle devices (iPod, PSP, and mobile). Interactive agencies function similarly to advertising agencies, although they focus solely on interactive advertising services. They deliver services such as strategy, creative, design, video, development, programming (Flash and otherwise), deployment, management, and fulfillment reporting. Often, interactive agencies provide: digital lead generation, digital brand development, interactive marketing and communications strategy, rich media campaigns, interactive video brand experiences, Web 2.0 website design and development, e-learning Tools, email marketing, SEO/SEM services, PPC campaign management, content management services, web application development, and overall data mining & ROI assessment.

The recent boost in the interactive agencies can also be attributed to the rising popularity of web-based social networking and community sites. The creation of sites such as MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

, Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 and YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 have sparked market interest, as some interactive agencies have started offering personal and corporate community site development as one of their service offerings. It still may be too early to tell how agencies will use this type of marketing to monetize client ROI, but all signs point to online networking as the future of brand marketing and Interactive being the core of Brand's Communication and Marketing Strategy.

Due to the social networking explosion, new types of companies are doing reputation management. This type of agency is especially important if a company needs online damage control. For example, disgruntled customers can quickly and easily damage a company's reputation via social networking site. Reputation management companies help stem the negative information or misinformation that might proliferate in their absence.

Search engine agencies

Lately, pay per click
Pay per click
Pay per click is an Internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher when the ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market...

 (PPC) and search engine optimization
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid search results...

 (SEO) firms have been classified by some as 'agencies' because they create media and implement media purchases of text based (or image based, in some instances of search marketing) ads. This relatively young industry has been slow to adopt the term 'agency', however with the creation of ads (either text or image) and media purchases, they do technically qualify as 'advertising agencies'.

Social media agencies

Social media
Social media
The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,...

agencies specialize in promotion of brands in the various social media platforms like blogs, social networking sites, Q&A sites, discussion forums, microblogs etc. The two key services of social media agencies are:
  • social media marketing
    Social media marketing
    Social media marketing is an addition to personal, small business, corporate, and non-profit organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans...

  • online reputation management
    Online reputation management
    Online reputation management is the practice of monitoring the Internet reputation of a person, brand or business, with the goal of suppressing negative mentions entirely, or pushing them lower on search engine results pages to decrease their visibility...


Healthcare communications agencies

Healthcare communications agencies specialize in strategic communications and marketing services for the Healthcare and Life Science industries. These agencies distinguish themselves through an understanding of the strict labeling and marketing guidelines mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and industry group guidelines, most notably ADVAMED
AdvaMed
AdvaMed The Advanced Medical Technology Association is a medical device trade association. AdvaMed members consist of medical technology companies. Stephen J. Ubl is AdvaMed’s current President and Chief Executive Officer. AdvaMed’s current Board Chairman is James V. Mazzo, President, Abbott...

 and PHARMA
Pharma
Pharma may be an abbreviation for:* Pharmaceutical industry* Pharmaceutical drug* Pharmacology* Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America -Other uses:* Pharma, a 2006 film written by Ben Sainsbury and directed by Mark Thoburn...

.

Medical education agencies

Medical education agencies specialize in creating educational content for the Healthcare and Life Science industries. These agencies typically specialize in one of two areas:
  • Promotional education - education and training materials tied to the promotion of a given product or therapy
  • Continuing medical education
    Continuing medical education
    Continuing medical education refers to a specific form of continuing education that helps those in the medical field maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field. These activities may take place as live events, written publications, online programs, audio, video, or...

     - accredited education and training materials created for continuing physician and medical professional education.

Other agencies

While not advertising agencies, enterprise technology agencies often work in tandem with advertising agencies to provide a specialized subset of services offered by some interactive agencies: Web 2.0 website design and development, Content management systems, web application development, and other intuitive technology solutions for the web, mobile devices and emerging digital platforms.

The student-run advertising agency
Student-run advertising agency
A student-run advertising agency acts like a real advertising agency, but is owned and operated by students. Usually operating as a student club in a university, the student-run agency provides advertising services to various organizations such as school departments, small businesses, and large...

 model, which mainly operates out of university classrooms or as a student groups, provides free advertising services to clients in exchange for the educational opportunity.

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 director
Art director
The art director is a person who supervise the creative process of a design.The term 'art director' is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games....

s 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
Creative Director
A creative director is a position often found within the graphic design, film, music, fashion, advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well....

, 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). Once they receive the creative brief from their account team, the creative team will concept ideas to take to their creative director for feedback. This can often be a back and forth process, occurring several times before several ads are set to present to the client. Creative departments frequently work with outside design
Design
Design as a noun informally refers to a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system while “to design” refers to making this plan...

 or production studios to develop and implement their ideas. Creative departments may employ production artist
Production artist
A production artist is a technical and creative position in a creative profession. The job title originated at advertising agencies, assigning what was known as paste-up work to the position. Production artists work closely with the designer and art director to execute the design...

s as entry-level positions, as well as for operations and maintenance. The creative process forms the most crucial part of the advertising process.

Media services

The media 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. They can often be restrained by the client's budget, in which, the media strategy will inform the creative team what media platform they'll be developing the ad for.

Modern agencies might also have a media planning department integrated, which does all the spot's planning and placements

Production

Without the production department, the ads created by the copywriter and art director would be nothing more than words and pictures on paper. The production department, in essence, ensures the TV commercial or print ad, etc., gets produced. They are responsible for contracting external vendors (directors and production companies in the case of TV commercials; photographers and design studios in the case of the print advertising or direct mailers). Producers are involved in every aspect of a project, from the initial creative briefing through execution and delivery. In some agencies, senior producers are known as "executive producers" or "content architects".

Other departments and personnel

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, planning, or research, for example.

An often forgotten, but integral, department within an advertising agency is traffic. The traffic department regulates the flow of work in the agency. It is typically headed by a traffic manager (or system administrator). Traffic increases an agency's efficiency and profitability through the reduction of false job starts, inappropriate job initiation, incomplete information sharing, over- and under-cost estimation and the need for media extensions. In small agencies without a dedicated traffic manager, one employee may be responsible for managing workflow, gathering cost estimates and answering the phone, for example. Large agencies may have a traffic department of five or more employees.

Advertising interns are typically university juniors and seniors who are genuinely interested in and have an aptitude for advertising. Internships at advertising agencies most commonly fall into one of five areas of expertise: account services, interactive, media, public relations and traffic. Art students working on the creative side can find internships as an assistant art director or assistant copywriter.

An internship program in account services usually involves fundamental work within account
management as well as offering exposure to other facets of the agency. The primary responsibility of this position is to assist account managers. Functions of the account management intern may include:
  • Research
    Research
    Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

     and analysis: Gathering information regarding industry, competition, customer product or service; as well as presenting findings in verbal/written form with recommendations
  • Involvement in internal meetings and, when appropriate, client meetings
  • Assisting account services in the management of creative projects


Interns often take part in the internal creative process, where they may be charged with creating and managing a website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

as well as developing an advertising campaign. Hands on projects such as these help interns learn how strategy and well-developed marketing are essential to a sound advertising and communications plan.

During their internship, the intern will experience the development of an ad, brochure and broadcast or communications project from beginning to end. During the internship, the intern should be exposed to as much as possible within the agency and advertising process.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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