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Structure of an advertising agency

Organizational structure of an advertising agency

Every functional thing needs a proper structure for its smooth functioning. And no matter how unique the advertising world may be, it requires an organizational structure. Advertising agencies are structured to integrate the various services and tasks involved in creating and placing advertising. There may be differences in the organizational structure of an advertising agency based upon its size. On one hand, large agencies often have higher staff strength and departments assigned to develop the strategy, conduct research, create ads, and select the media. Whereas on the other hand, smaller and regional advertising agencies that are independently owned and operated provide the same fundamental tasks of account services, creative and media with a smaller team.

Advertising agency must have a suitable internal organizational structure to keep functioning properly with a smooth workflow. All advertising agencies don’t have a same organizational structure. Their structure varies from one another in relation to their size.

Typical structure of an advertising agency consist of:

  • Contact Department
  • Media Department
  • Copy Department
  • Art Department
  • Production Department
  • Research Department
  • Accounting and Finance Department
  • Public Relations (PR) Department
  • Office Management


Contact Department

Contact department, also known as client department is in charge of keeping contact with their prospective clients of the advertising agency, mostly the advertisers.

The functions of the client department includes:

  • Carrying the important information to the clients
  • Efforts for retaining and creating new clients
  • Building the bridge between the advertising agency and the client
  • Helps in boosting revenues
  • Promotion of their agency to create new prospects
  • Efficient working for the quick growth of its organization


Media Department

Media Department of advertising agency is responsible for the choice of media. This department selects the best suitable medium for the ad agency that will be suitable for its clients.

Also Read- Traditional marketing vs digital marketing

Before the selection process, media department’s initial role is to find out about:

  • The product’s nature
  • The market competition
  • Advertising budget of the client
  • Media trends, etc.

The functions of media department are:

  • It selects and uses the best media possible to communicate the ad message to the ultimate consumers
  • It can also fail, as a wrong selection will result in the failure of the advertised product.
  • Preparation of media plans for its clients
  • Media scheduling
  • Supervising the execution
  • It keeps constant contact with the media and the client


Copy Department

The copy of the advertising agency is very crucial. It is called the heart of the ad as this conveys a direct message to the consumers creatively.

Also read- Good advertising sells itself and other myths

Primary functions of the copy department are:

  • Preparing an attractive copy for its clients and customers.
  • Participate in brain- storming sessions and come up with ideas.
  • Using their extraordinary skills of putting flair and fluent language while preparing a copy.

This department includes copywriters, copy-supervisors, and others.  The copy department works in close co-operation with the art department. Mostly, the copy department is the largest department of an advertising agency. It comprises of a hard-working team of qualified professionals and experienced staff.


Art Department

The art department consists of all the artists in an advertising agency. The advertisement finally becomes agreeable and acceptable because of these people in the art department. These people use the principles of real art, probably on software, as a guideline or base to present a product to the targeted audience. The personals working in the art department are known as the Art Directors.

The functions of the art department are:

  • Transform the idea that the client wants to convey, into a simple and beautiful imagery.
  • Preparing layouts and visuals for the clients.
  • To work closely with the copywriters for developing the visual messages.
  • Making painted bulletins, posters, car cards, illustrations, slogans, etc.


Production Department

Once, after the copy and art is finalized, the advertisement is sent to the production department for further process. Both the departments, copy and art, create the basic model of the advertisement. The production department takes the advertisement into its final stage. A production manager heads the production department.

Functions of the production department are:

  • Produces the final advertisements for the markets.
  • Making contacts in the industry for the easy carrying out of tasks.
  • Assemble the typographic design patterns, engraved photos, illustrations, copy, etc. and prepare the final advertisement.
  • Sending the final product to its clients and get the approval.
  • Once the approval is received, then it can be sent for final printing or production for the market.
  • Keeping them updated about the latest trends and technologies.


Research Department

Without knowing the 5 W’s and 1 H of the market, you can never run a successful advertisement campaign. The research department in advertising collects information about the market, market competition, market trends, products and services, competitors, consumer behavior, media trends, new trends in advertising, so on.

The success of the advertising agency’s advertisement campaign depends upon how hard the research team has done its work. A right direction and the right approach are very important for a successful ad campaign.

Functions of the research department include:

  • Carrying out research and deriving out useful information.
  • Critically analyze the information, which they have derived.
  • Apply the results in different ways.
  • Agency makes use of above information for executing an excellent ad campaign.


Accounting and Finance Department

As the name suggests, the accounting and finance department of an advertising agency looks into the financial and accounting matters of the organization.

The functions of this department are:

  • To generate and keep a record of the invoices that the company incurs or gains.
  • Sending out regular reminders to the clients for un-cleared payments.
  • Clear accounts before or within the due dates.
  • Issue payments to vendor parties within or on the due date.
  • Keep a track of the monthly and yearly accounts.
  • Deposit the government fees on time.
  • Manage salary accounts of the employees.


Public Relations (PR) Department

The chief responsibility of a public relations (PR) department is to maintain a cordial relationship among three parties, namely, advertising agency, clients, and media. Every organization may not have a separate department for PR hence, it becomes important for the other members of the organization to build cordial relations with clients and customers.

The functions of the PR department are:

  • Redressing the grievances of the consumers.
  • Taking feedback from clients and customers and working on it immediately.
  • Serve as a road between the advertising agency and the other parties.
  • Maintain a repo, by maintaining the goodwill.


Office Management

The office management department can also be called the HR department of the advertising agency.

Also read- Why you should join an advertising agency

Their functions include:

  • Recruiting the office staff.
  • Carrying out training and development of the newly hired staff.
  • Carry out promotions of the deserving candidates.
  • Provide welfare facilities to staff.
  • Filing and record keeping of all the essential documents.

It is not necessary for an advertising agency to have all these different departments, depending on their scale. But even the small- sized or mid- sized agencies have people for the functions of all the departments. They can hire multi- taskers for that matter.  The departments can be merged, but these are the basic functions that the organizational structure of any advertising agency follows.