This is “Exercises”, section 2.4 from the book Advertising Campaigns: Start to Finish (v. 1.0).
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Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the advertising, promotion, and marketing essentials necessary to win the msnbc.com account:
Most consumers are familiar with the term advertising agency; however, most would be hard pressed to explain exactly what an advertising agency does or even name some of the most prominent agencies. Surprisingly, most advertising agencies do not toot their own horns to the general public. The exact opposite is true with respect to courting potential clients. Advertising agencies are extremely competitive with one another and have different ways of communicating their messages to prospective clients. Today, a solid Web presence is a necessity for any advertising agency. Some take the familiar “listing of services” approach and others take a more creative approach.
Go to the JWT (formerly the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency) Web site (http://www.jwt.com) and compare its client contact and promotion approach with that of the Texas-based Stevens FKM public relations and advertising agency (http://www.stevensfkm.com). Can you tell which (if either) agency would be characterized as a full-service agency? Explain. If you were a prospective client, which agency’s Web approach would you prefer? Explain your thoughts and rationale for your preference.
Traditionally, the mass media has paid advertising agencies a 15 percent commission on all business brought to them. The advertising agency also represents a client and may receive fees from that client. Since the advertising agency receives a commission on the amount billed from a client from the mass media, some believe that a conflict of interest exists—two masters are being served. While the advertising agency is supposedly cutting the best deal they can with the mass media for their client in terms of media prices, they may also be receiving commissions based on billing where more money is made by the advertising agency as billing revenues for the agency and mass media increase.
After considering the ethics of this situation, take a position on the practice and make comments. Remember to try to see the issue from the viewpoint of all parties—the mass media, the client, and the advertising agency. Be prepared to discuss your thoughts and position.