Functional Departments of an Advertising Agency and their Responsibilities
The organization of an may be divided into various departments, each entrusted with a specialized function. Such functions are to be performed under the control of a director or vice president or manager. The main departments in an advertisement agency are—
1. Contact Department
This department is responsible for getting new accounts and also for maintaining the existing ones. The Account Executive is the keyman of the department who acts as a link between the advertising agency and the clients.
2. Media Department
This department is entrusted with the work of selection of appropriate media for the advertiser. It could be on the basis of
- client’s direction,
- the budget allocated for this purpose by the client or
- the one that serves the purpose best to the client’s product.
In these circumstances, the media department selects the best possible medium. It chooses the appropriate channels of communication through which the message is to reach target consumers. The media analyst decides over the number and kind of potential customers and accordingly chooses a medium / media to carry the message.
3. Copy Department
The copy director, preferably an art minded individual, is the head of this department. The advertisement copy is the heart of advertising programme as it contains the message.
This department coordinates the work of copy-writing that requires skill, imagination, flair and fluency of language. The department works closely with the account executive and research department.
4. Art and Visualization Department
The head of this department is the Art Director. An art director is assisted by artists, layout men and visualizers. It is the duty of this department to get the visuals and layouts prepared for press advertisements, posters, calendars, and other outdoor advertising.
Some ad agencies get this work done through outside artists. The important point here is that there should be a close co-ordination between Art and Copy departments.
5. Production Department
When a copy is ready, the agency goes ahead with its production, headed by a director. Ad Agencies generally use outside units for these production services.
6. Finance Department
This department is responsible for
- maintaining accounts, billing and collecting the dues from its clients,
- verifying the appearance of advertisements in different media in individual cases,
- checking media invoices against release orders,
- settling the bills of the media owners; and
- looking after all the routine matters relating to accounting; recording, etc.
7. Research Department
This department of the advertising agency is engaged in the study of the effect of selling activities at the last point of distribution of a product. The research director takes the assistance of analysts, investigators, etc.
A research may enable the agency to get more business by making stronger presentation to more desirable clients. The contact department makes an extensive use of such research outcome while contacting its clients and convince them.
8. Public Relations Department
The growth and survival of an advertising agency depend very much upon the public opinion and its support. Favorable Public opinion raises the morale of the agency personnel and builds goodwill for the company. This department is headed by a Public Relations executive.
Generally, an advertising agency maintains all the above mentioned departments but the exact name and the number of departments may vary from agency to another, depending upon the size of its business.
An agency may take help from outsiders or specialists instead of establishing a full fledged department. Moreover, the activities of two or more departments may be combined and carried out only by one department.