Broadly there are 6 departments in any advertising agency
- Account Servicing
- Account Planning
- Finance and Accounting
Account service department
The account service, or the account management department, is the link between the ad agency and its clients. Depending upon the size of the account and its advertising budget one or two account executives serve as liason to the client. The account executive’s job requires high degree of diplomacy and tact as misunderstanding may lead to loss of an account. The account executive is mainly responsible to gain knowledge about the client’s business, profit goals, marketing problems and advertising objectives.
The account executive is responsible for getting approved the media schedules, budgets and rough ads or story boards from the client. The next task is to make sure that the agency personnel produce the advertising to the client’s satisfaction. The biggest role of the account executive is keeping the agency ahead of the client through follow-up and communications.
The responsibility of the agency’s media department is to develop a media plan to reach the target audience effectively in a cost effective manner. The staff analyses, selects and contracts for media time or space that will be used to deliver the ad message. This is one of the most important decisions since a significantly large part of the client’s money is spent on the media time and/or space. The media department has acquired increasing importance in an agency’s business as large advertisers seem to be more inclined to consolidate media buying with one or few agencies thereby saving money and improving media efficiency.
To a large extent, the success of an ad agency depends upon the creative department responsible for the creation and execution of the advertisements. The creative specialists are known as copywriters. They are the ones who conceive ideas for the ads and write the headlines, subheads and the body copy. They are also involved in deciding the basic theme of the advertising campaign, and often they do prepare the rough layout of the print ad or the commercial story board.
Creation of an ad is the responsibility of the copywriters and the art department decides how the ad should look.
After the completion and approval of the copy and the illustrations the ad is sent to the production department. Generally agencies do not actually produce the finished ads; instead they hire printers, photographers, engravers, typographers and others to complete the finished ad. For the production of the approved TV commercial, the production department may supervise the casting of actors to appear in the ad, the setting for scenes and selecting an independent production studio. The production department sometimes hires an outside director to transform the creative concept to a commercial.
Finance and accounting department
An advertising agency is in the business of providing services and must be managed that way. Thus, it has to perform various functions such as accounting, finance, human resources etc. it must also attempt to generate new business. Also this department is important since bulk of the agency’s income approx. 65% goes as salary and benefits to the employees.