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What Is a Magazine Advertising Agency?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The term "magazine advertising agency" may be a misnomer, as few ad agencies focus exclusively on magazine ads. Instead, a magazine advertising agency might be a company that can create and place ads in a variety of media, including magazines, newspapers, television, radio, and the Internet. The agency will work with a business owner or individual who needs to spread the word about a particular product or promotion by creating an effective ad that will appeal to a target audience. In many cases, several ads will be created rather than just one to ensure target audiences are sufficiently reached.

New businesses as well as established businesses launching new products may hire the services of a magazine advertising agency. While it may be easy to simply throw together an ad and send it to a magazine for placement, it is far more difficult to create an effective ad that will reach the target audience and give that audience the information it needs. A magazine advertising agency will work with the business owner to assemble the most relevant information about the product or business, as well as information about the intended audience. The agency can also do research into various magazines to find the ones that will be most appropriate for the ads. Placing an ad in the wrong magazine can mean the target audience does not see the ad and the business owner wastes valuable time and money.

Magazines generate the majority of their revenue from advertising.
Magazines generate the majority of their revenue from advertising.

It is likely that the magazine advertising agency will also explore other media options for advertising. Internet advertising has become increasingly popular because of the much larger readership and ease with which ads can be created and placed. The downside to Internet advertising, however, is the difficulty of reaching a specific audience rather than a massive group of people who may or may not be interested in the product or service being offered by the business. A magazine advertising agency will usually be able to do the research to find the most appropriate online advertising outlets as well.

A billboard ad can be a part of an advertising package.
A billboard ad can be a part of an advertising package.

Sometimes the agency will offer an advertising package that includes placement in magazines, newspapers, the Internet, billboards, or any combination of these. Such packages are usually useful for larger businesses as well as small businesses looking to attract several target audiences. This approach is usually known as an ad campaign, and it may involve several other advertising approaches the agency deems useful for that particular product or business.

Discussion Comments


Magazine advertising agencies are experienced at creating beautiful, glossy ads. They can give you a much more attractive ad than a smaller publication, like a newspaper, could produce.

Newspapers don't have a ton of experience with creating full color ads that will look good on high quality paper, since many of their ads run in black and white. So, if I will be running an ad in both a newspaper and a magazine, I just use an advertising agency. I know that they will give me an ad that will look great in a magazine, so it will definitely look good in the paper.

The designers at the magazine advertising agency I use are the best. I am always impressed at the creativity and professionalism in their work. Also, the salespeople aim to please, since they are getting so much money out of their clients!


@wavy58 – What I like most about using a magazine advertising agency is the ability to pick and choose. If I want to advertise on a billboard and online, then I'm allowed to do just that. If I only want radio and TV ads, then I don't have to buy a package that includes other stuff.

I don't know if all advertising agencies operate like this, but the one I use does. When my advertising budget is running a little low, I can just get them to design me an ad to go in a newspaper. If I have plenty of money to spend, I will go with a big billboard ad.

The agency strives to please its customers, and giving them the power to choose their advertising medium does this. It's great to be able to do several things at once if I want to, but it is also great to be allowed to do the minimum.


I have used a magazine advertising agency before, and I was really happy with the results. I loved getting all of my advertising needs met in one place and for one package price.

Had I gone to each publication individually, I would have spent significantly more money. Also, I would not have had the help of my account manager, who picked out the best slots for me in each publication.

My ads all have the same color scheme, but the angle of each is slightly altered to fit the medium. The magazine ads are more detailed and geared more toward that specific audience, and the online ads are more simple and concise, with a link to my website included for those who want more information.


I have a friend who used to work as a designer for a newspaper, but now she works for a magazine advertising agency. She told me that there is a world of difference between the two, and though she makes a higher salary, she definitely works to earn it.

With a magazine advertising agency, often the graphic designer will be the one who talks to the clients, rather than going through a sales rep. So, instead of just designing the ad based on what someone else tells her, she has to have meetings with clients first, then design the ads, and then present them to the clients in person.

This is probably a more effective method than having a go-between do some of the work. The clients' specifications don't get lost in translation, and neither do the revision requests.

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    • Magazines generate the majority of their revenue from advertising.
      By: mark huls
      Magazines generate the majority of their revenue from advertising.
    • A billboard ad can be a part of an advertising package.
      By: David
      A billboard ad can be a part of an advertising package.