Underlying dimensions and communication strategies of the advertising agency-client relationship

Richard F. Beltramini and Dennis A. Pitta


Borrowing concepts from both services and industrial marketing, this paper examines the advertising agency-client relationship, revealing that active relationship management today requires more effort than the traditional account manager-advertising department linkage. Understanding the types of advertising tasks and the roles played by decision-makers allows today's managers to develop appropriate communication strategies important in maintaining this service relationship. Managerial implications and recommendations for other service agencies are discussed as well.


Perhaps the most important trend within the advertising industry in the last decade has been a renewed focus on the advertising agency-client relationship, given the awakening to the importance of services marketing in general (Berry, 1983). Despite the new attention directed to these areas, however, the focus may still need to be sharpened.