Generally speaking, since the 1980s, a lot of advertising agencies have tended to move in the direction of a common structure. In the past, each agency offered a number of different marketing services under one roof. However, there has been a remarkable about-turn in the environment over the past 30 years.
While the number of agencies, which offered different services, increased as a result of the post-80s “unbundling”, ownership of these same agencies was dramatically concentrated. Huge consolidation within the industry led to a massive number of mergers and acquisitions as well as the creation – at the higher end of the market – of a small group of major international holding companies—each of these companies which control many separate agencies.
There are still independent owner-operated agencies in existence; however, in ever fewer numbers than ever before, and most are small in comparison with the group-owned brands.
What are the different types of businesses operating in the advertising industry?
The term ‘advertising agency’ (which is sometimes replaced with ‘creative agency’) is generally applied to a company whose primary role is to conceive as well as implement large-scale marketing concepts for its clients.
Customarily, advertising agencies come up with the main idea for a marketing campaign and then created a series of advertisements which speak to that idea across various media. They tend to concentrate on what is called above-the-line marketing advertisements. These address a mass market through the four significant media: television, print, radio and outdoor (posters).
The tool most frequently linked to the conventional advertising agency is the 30-second television spot. However, the eruption of digital marketing, formerly considered as one of the below-the-line disciplines, has radically altered the landscape of the traditional advertising agency.
More and more, these companies are being pushed by their clients to provide excellence in digital marketing as well as the more established mass-market media.