4 Major Functions of Advertising Agencies

The organisational structure of advertising agencies differs from one another depending upon their size. They may be organised on a small, medium or large scale. Irrespective of the size, all advertising agencies have the following major functions:

1. Creative Department:

According to David Ogilvy, ‘the creative function is the most important of all the functions of any advertising agency.’ Basically, this department is the idea generator. The copywriters, artists, art directors, radio and television directors, researchers, constitute the creative team who are directly involved in creating advertising messages for the clients. The creative department, because of its importance is called as the heart of the advertising agency.

2. Account Services Department:

The advertising agency exists for the purpose of advertising for its clients, termed as accounts. The success of any agency depends on the number of advertising accounts it handles. The agency has to identify, locate, maintain and expand the client base for survival and growth. Soliciting new accounts, renewing and expanding the old accounts, is very important for the advertising agency.

Often managed by account executives, account supervisors, the account services department of an agency is the vital link between the clients and the agency. Such officers represent the agency to the client and in turn, represent the client within the agency. The account services department should therefore, have a thorough knowledge of their client’s business and all operations within the agency.

3. Marketing Services Department:

The activities of media, research and sales promotion of an advertising agency are broadly grouped under marketing services. The media section is staffed with analysts, planners and buyers. The analysts keep an account of media coverage, media cost-and advertising spending of competing advertisers.

They try to identify the best and appropriate media for each of their clients. The planners, along with the accounts department, plan the scheduling of the advertisement of the clients. The buyers execute the plans.

The research section of the marketing services department is involved in all phases of agency planning. They test the product concept, define market targets, develop marketing and advertising strategies, test market, etc.

The sales promotion section usually appoints specialists for planning and managing sales promotion of the clients like sampling, couponing, premium, contest and sweepstakes. Trade promotions include trade allowances, cooperative advertising and point of purchase displays.

4. Administrative Services Department:

Basically, advertising agencies are also business organisations and thus, need to earn a profit. Like any other business activity they must be managed well. Therefore, the agency has to undertake planning, organising, directing, coordinating, motivating and controlling its own activities.

In addition to the book keeping function, now largely performed by the computers, there are people in the administrative services department who plan and control the financial functions, budget revenues and expenses, set operating policies and so on.