The organizational structure of an advertising agency depends on various factors, such as the size of the company, the number of people employed by the company, and the quantity and value of accounts the company has acquired. For most shops, the president and chief executive officer (CEO) are on the top tier. After the president, departments operate on a lateral scheme of equal importance, since all departments are inter-dependent on one another. These departments are separated between four to five different aspects of the advertising business including creative departments and account managers.
The president or CEO is typically on the top level of the organizational structure. He or she is responsible for managing the daily operations of the agency and allocates the finances. In addition, this person assists with account management, marketing, and advertising strategies.
Under the CEO are account managers, the creative department, media buyers, and traffic or production management. Account managers are responsible for bringing new business into the agency. Once the account is established, the account manager and client agree on marketing and advertising objectives. Account managers establish a budget and a deadline for completion of the project.
Copywriters and art directors are in the creative department, and both work closely together to develop compelling and memorable advertising campaigns. They take direction from account managers to serve the client’s needs. The creative team is responsible for presenting a series of ideas from which the account managers to choose. Along with the account managers, they establish a production budget for proposed advertising ideas and are present for client presentations.
One of the most important departments in an advertising agency is the media buyers and the production management team. Media buyers ensure the best rates for ad placement in print, media or online, and they determine the success of advertisements. The production management team is responsible for ensuring that all departments are well within the budget guidelines set forth by the client and account managers. They ensure that each unit is meeting deadlines, and verify the accuracy finished advertisements. In addition, the production management team is responsible for all administrative duties within the office.
There is a third tier in the organizational structure of an advertising agency made up of support personnel, who are responsible for assisting any of the key people in other departments. Each department has its own specialized support people to perform certain tasks and assist in delivering successful advertising campaigns.