Select The Right Advertising Agency For Your Business

George Orwell once said that "Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket", which was meant to show the industry in a bad light. In the modern world, advertising and marketing have become acknowledged as the lifeblood of business. Without the consumer being aware of your product or service you stand no chance of building a profitable business.

Many small and medium companies do not have the manpower or resources in-house to do their own advertising and so may need to turn to advertising agencies.

A Brief History of Advertising

In the early days, posters advertising products and events were put up to attract public attention. It was during the Industrial Revolution that producers became aware that they needed to stimulate a need for their products to remain profitable in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Newspaper advertising became popular during the 19th century as an increasing number of literate, middle-class customer began buying goods.

During the 20th century advertising developed in sophistication and began to make use of the new media of radio and, after the Second World War, television.

Agencies now come in all sizes, from simple companies with a couple of people behind a desk, relying on freelance talent, to multi-million pound businesses handling major clients, such as Saatchi and Saatchi founded in London in 1970.

Why Consider Outsourcing Your Advertising Budget?

1. What An Agency Can Do For You

An advertising agency works on behalf of the client to produce a campaign to bring the consumers attention to the companies product in a positive light.

2. Bringing A Different Perspective To Your Business

A good agency is independent of the client and can bring an outside perspective to the product, viewing it much as a potential customer would. The manufacturer may be too close to their product to be able to do this in an unbiased way. A great agency must bring a great deal of creativity to the table as they must continually find new ways to bring their client's services to the forefront in an era in which people get constantly bombarded with advertising images.

3. Some Legendary Campaign Examples

A good example of an image that sticks in the public's mind is the 'Pregnant Man' of the early Saatchi and Saatchi. The "Go to work on an egg" campaign, attributed to the author Fay Weldon, has wormed its way into the British national consciousness and the Guinness TV ads of the 60s, 70s and 80s have become classics of the genre.

Where can I find an Advertising Agency?

If you need to source an ad agency for your business, there are many directories and listings you can turn to for help. Here are some of the better online ones to get you started:

  • AdBrands details the top agencies together with the latest news and a selection of their award-winning campaigns.
  • Hobo Web publishes agencies by their web presence. This measure is interesting to show who's better at managing their brand in the online world.
  • The Adforum attempts to lists all types of agencies around the world. This approach means you have access to all data in one place.
  • Outbrain shows how integrated agencies could work for you by combining all your media targets into one campaign.
  • Wikipedia, online encyclopaedia, has a simple list of advertising agencies but these are among the top ones in the world and include such industry giants as Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather and the Aegis Group.

Remember that many of the listings are posted by the companies themselves and cannot count as endorsements. If a site carries customer reviews or some kind of rating system it may be more useful than a self-promoting list.

Don't ignore more traditional listings, as can be found in the business section of your local phone book, Yellow Pages or Thomson Directories. All these have sections of advertising agencies and also have online versions you can search and browse.

Top Advertising Agencies in London

The following table lists the top agencies in London ranked by their total billings to their clients.

Rank Agency Name Example Customers
1 Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO BT, DSG, Sainsbury's, Mars, Camelot
2 McCann Erickson Aldi, Microsoft, L'Oréal Paris, Vauxhall, Gtech
3 Adam & Eve/DDB Volkswagen, Lloyds Bank, Waitrose, John Lewis, Halifax
4 Grey London Vodafone, Procter & Gamble, GSK, Volvo, Coty
5 Bartle Bogle Hegarty Virgin Media, Tesco, KFC, Audi, Barclays
6 Leo Burnett McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, Co-op, Homebase, Lindt & Sprüngli
7 Publicis UK Morrisons, Renault, Garnier, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble
8 VCCP BGL Group, O2, Müller, Nationwide, easyJet
9 WCRS Sky, B&Q, Now TV, Santander, Ministry of Defence
10 Saatchi & Saatchi Procter & Gamble, EE, Direct Line, Toyota, Asda

Source: CampaignLive