ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

When an individual or an organization employs an advertising agency to assist in undertaking promotional activities, a number of factors are involved to ensure that the agency–client relationship runs smoothly. However, for the advertiser, as the relationship develops there can be changes in attitudes toward the advertising agency. This paper analyzes the responses of 82 advertisers regarding different elements in the advertising agency–client relationship and compares them across 4 stages in the agency–client life cycle: (a) Inception, (b) Development, (c) Maintenance, and (d) Dissolution. The results of the survey provide some implications to assist in the understanding of agency–client relationships at different times of the life cycle.
Content may be subject to copyright.
AgencyClient Relationship Factors across the Life-cycle Stages
Kim-Shyan Fam
Department of Marketing
University of Otago
P.O. Box 56, Dunedin
New Zealand
Tel:+ 64 3 479 7692
Fax:+ 64 3 479 8172
David S. Waller
School of Marketing
University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123,
Broadway, NSW 2007,
Tel: + 61 2 9514 3976
Fax: + 61 2 9514 3535
When an individual or an organization employs an advertising agency to assist in undertaking
promotional activities, a number of factors are involved to ensure that the agencyclient
relationship runs smoothly. However, for the advertiser, as the relationship develops there can be
changes in attitudes towards the advertising agency. This paper analyzes the responses of 82
advertisers regarding different elements in the advertising agencyclient relationship and
compares them across four stages in the agencyclient life-cycle: (1) induction; (2)
development; (3) maintenance; and (4) dissolution. The results of the survey provide some
implications to assist in the understanding of agencyclient relationships at different times of the
KEYWORDS: AgencyClient Relationships, Advertising Agencies, Life-cycle Stages
Kim-Shyan Fam BA, MBA (Stirling), PhD (Newcastle, Australia), Dip M (UK), Dip MRS
Kim-shyan Fam (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Otago,
Dunedin, New Zealand. A marketer turned academic, he has taught in Malaysia, Australia,
Hong Kong and New Zealand. His area of expertise lies within the field of international
advertising and promotion. He has undertaken research in 16 countries in the areas of
advertising agency–client relationships; controversial advertising; Asian advertising and
promotion strategies of small businesses.
Dr David Waller BA (Syd), MCom (UNSW), PhD (Newcastle, Australia)
David Waller is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Marketing at the University of
Technology, Sydney, Australia. He has taught at a number of universities, including the
University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales and Charles Sturt University
Riverina. He has published numerous articles in local and international marketing journals.
His research interests include advertising agencyclient relationships; controversial
advertising; international advertising; and marketing ethics.
AgencyClient Relationship Factors Across the Life-cycle Stages
For advertisers, it is very important to develop and encourage a good partnership between
them and their advertising agency to ensure the smooth running of advertising/promotional
campaigns on their behalf. The breakdown and failure in an agencyclient relationship can lead
to major costs in time, money and effort, with this “burden of change” involving delays in
implementing new campaigns, time spent on the process of selecting a new agency, and the
development of rapport, trust and confidence in the new agency (Quinn, 1978; Michell, 1986,
1988a; Cook, 1988 Weilbacher, 1991; Buchanan & Michell, 1991; Mathur & Mathur, 1996;
Fam & Waller, 1999; Davies & Prince, 2005). In some cases it has been said that the process of
switching agencies and developing a new partnership takes up to two years (Michell & Sanders,
1995), so it is vital to understand the major elements that are associated with advertising
agencyclient relationships. However, as advertisers and their agencies can journey through a
number of relationship stages from selection to termination (Waller, 2004), the attitudes of
advertisers towards their agencies and the relationship can change over time.
Knowing one’s clients, and staying close to them, is essential if an agency is to be successful.
However, a strong relationship can only be developed and conducted over a period of time. In
addition, one must not forget that such a relationship is between people with different roles and
responsibilities, at different phases of their career and over different phases of the client-agency
life-cycle. According to Barnes (2001), genuine relationships are characterized by an emotional
attachment, a sense of commitment to the other party, and a shared sense of values and goals.
What is important to the client is not always obvious. Similarly there are many things that clients
feel are important that agency administrators have not even begun to think about. In addition,
different situations evoke different expectations and needs. Hence, agency administrators and
managers must realize that understanding what will deliver the building blocks of lasting client
relationships is an extremely difficult and complex process. Barnes (2001) claims that “getting
to know clients and their likes and dislikes are fundamental to building relationships”.
The challenge facing an agency lies in understanding how the principles of relationship-
building can be applied in dealing with their clients. Morgan and Hunt (1994) attribute
“commitment and trust” as the key determinant of a successful relationship. Barnes (2001), on
the other hand, expanded the list of attributes, including:
Trust and ethics; Commitment; Reliability and attachment; Understanding and empathy;
Mutual goals; Shared values; Reciprocity; Respect and sincerity; Caring, affection and liking;
Dependability; Awareness of history; Two-way communications; Warmth and intimacy;
Interest in needs; Knowledge; Responsiveness; Keeping of promises; Social support and
community; and Competency”.
A relationship does not just happen. It is a commitment between two parties and it involves
the fulfillment of promises over the long term. Relationships are not static, either. Once a
relationship has been established, the parties have to make it start, make it work, develop it, keep
it in good working order and preserve it from going sour (Duck, 1991). Relationships also differ
across individuals and in different relationship stages. Different customers will want different
experiences and different treatment in dealing with a firm and/or in a different stage of the
relationship. The challenge to a management that wishes to create an atmosphere conducive to
the establishment and maintenance of positive customer relationships is to learn what is
important to customers. Hence, the objective of this study is to examine the criteria that are
important at each stage of the relationship. Specifically this paper aims to analyze the results of a
survey of 82 advertisers in Hong Kong to answer the following research objectives:
(1) to determine what are perceived to be the main factors for agency selection;
(2) to determine what are perceived to be the main factors for successfully working with an
(3) to discover if the factors for agency selection differ depending on the stage in the life-
cycle; and
(4) to discover if the factors for successfully working with an agency differ, depending on the
life-cycle stage.
From the results, there are a number of issues that are important for the understanding of
advertising agencyclient relationships, indicating practical implications for the advertising
When advertisers employ an advertising agency, the agency must possess certain attributes
and capabilities, and undertake certain activities to be selected and to maintain a good working
relationship. Numerous studies have examined these factors in general. Below is an outline of
some of the past research that was used to assist in developing the survey instrument for this
Selection Factors
In the seminal article by Cagley and Roberts (1984), the authors found that the “people
factor” was an important criterion in the evaluation/selection process, with the main attributes
chosen being personnel quality, mutual agreement and understanding, reputation for integrity
and interpersonal compatibility (p. 28). As advertising agencies are providing a service, and
services are highly dependent on the people who provide the service (Parasuraman and Zeithaml
1983), Cagley (1986) confirmed this quite logical finding, comparing the attitudes of advertising
agency executives and clients. In another important study, Wackman, Salmon and Salmon
(1986) identified four sets of factors that can influence the success of the agencyclient
relationship. The factors are:
(1) Work Product: the advertising and advertising plans;
(2) Work Patterns: the daily aspects of how the agency and client work together;
(3) Organizational Factors: including company policy, structure, and politics, and the
qualifications/experience of personnel involved; and
(4) Relationship Factors: the “chemistry” of the relationship, which includes the level of trust,
respect, rapport, and comfort between agency and client personnel.
Further, Wackman et al.’s study found that relationship factors were the most highly
significant predictor of a client's satisfaction with its agency, followed by organizational factors,
work pattern and then work product factors. Personal attributes like “good personal relationships
with the account people” and the “effectiveness of the meetings between the firm and the
advertising agency”, again relating to the “people factor”, were perceived as being vital in
agencyclient relationships.
Marshall and Na’s (1994) results supported Cagley and Roberts (1984), and identified that
the most important evaluative criteria were: cost-consciousness, interpersonal factors,
professional integrity, empathy, managerial skills and compatibility. These results were
confirmed by Na and Marshall (2001) in a cross-cultural comparison of New Zealand and
Korea. Dowling (1994) found that factors relating to how the agency understands the
product/service being advertised and the reputation of the agency were also important when
selecting a new agency. Fam and Waller (1999) identified eight selection variables: Agency
Resources, Reputation, Marketing and Strategy Development, Integrity and Shared Purpose,
Creative Ability, Interpersonal Relations, Quality of Account Team, and Agency Research
Capability. Ranking these factors by means found that Interpersonal Relations was the most
important factor, with Creative Ability ranked as the second most important factor in winning
new clients.
Working with Agency Factors
After an advertiser selects an agency, they then both have to try to work together to develop
and maintain the relationship. A number of factors are important for a successful agencyclient
relationship, otherwise dissatisfaction in the relationship will lead to agency termination and the
process of selecting another advertising agency. Hotz, Ryans and Shanklin (1982) suggested that
agencyclient problems could be reduced by better communication between the parties, as well
as better compensation, morale, training, resources, and reducing the levels in client approval
and formal agreements between clients and their agencies. Beard (1996, 1997, 1999) suggested
that clear communication of information and role-clarification is important for the successful
maintenance of an agencyclient relationship. West and Paliwoda (1996) also claimed that
communication is an important factor in continuing client maintenance.
In studying the reasons for the agency–client relationship breakdown, Doyle, Corstjens and
Michell (1980) and Michell (1986) found that the clients rated “dissatisfaction with agency
performance” as the most important factor for switching, while the ex-agencies rated “changes
in client policy” as the most important reason. The study suggested that the process of
relationship breakdown consists of “creeping disenchantment” preceded by signals of
vulnerability, and that agencies are less sensitive to these signals of dissatisfaction. Michell,
Cataquet and Hague (1992) and Durden, Orsman and Michell (1997) continued to replicate
Doyle, Corstjens and Michell (1980) and while the studies tended to support each other, the
intensity of clients’ disaffection with their advertising agencies appears to be deepening across
the three studies. Dowling (1994) identified four main areas of conflict: (1) a creative issue
style of campaign; (2) a success/failure issue campaign effectiveness; (3) a cost issue cost of
a campaign; and (4) an interpersonal issue client service. LaBahn and Kohli (1997) analyzed
working relationships, through agency performance and client disposition to the agency, and
found that as the agency performance increases, so does the client's level of trust and
commitment, while conflict decreases the level of client commitment and the agency’s creative
quality. Lace (1998) identified five key performance measures: contribution to the achievement
of client marketing objectives; contribution to the standing of client product(s), services or
brand(s); creative output; value for money and service quality.
Henke (1995) found that criteria for selecting an agency are different from criteria used to
decide whether to keep the agency. For example, the role of creativity diminishes as the agency
client relationship evolves. This study confirms the existence of a changing relationship and
points out that change can occur quickly, which the agency should prepare for and respond to
appropriately. Changes can also occur very quickly in a crisis, or when there is controversy from
an advertising campaign. Bennett (1999) observed the issue of agency termination by analyzing
a survey of charitable organizations, and found that the main reasons for dissatisfaction were
with creative design, the agency's staff were not paying enough attention to the client's account,
and the failure to meet deadlines. Therefore it can be seen that there are a number of factors
involved in the successful workings of an advertising agencyclient relationship. These studies
were used to present a number of items in the questionnaire for this study to determine factors
important for a good working relationship.
According to Henke (1995), the advertising agencyclient relationship literature has aimed:
“to define the agencyclient relationship, to compare client perceptions to agency perceptions, ...
to identify factors that lead to agency selection or to a good agencyclient relationship ... (and)
to identify specific reasons for agencyclient splits” (p. 24). A number of studies have observed
agencyclient relationships, indicating three or four different stages. Wackman, Salmon and
Salmon (1986) presented a agencyclient life-cycle with four stages or phases: (1) Pre-
relationship, (2) Development, (3) Maintenance and (4) Termination. However, in their
discussion of the literature, the “Development” and “Maintenance” Stages were combined, as
the “literature on these two phases of the agencyclient relationship does not differentiate
between the two” (p. 23). Wackman, Salmon and Salmon (1986), therefore, reviewed three
areas relating to agencyclient research: (1) Pre-relationship, (2) Development/Maintenance and
(3) Termination.
Wills (1992) divided the agencyclient literature into three topics: (1) criteria for selecting an
agency; (2) developing the dimensions of the agencyclient relationship; and (3) factors that
cause problems in agencyclient relationships. West and Paliwoda (1996) also divided the
agencyclient literature into three key topics: (1) “attributes” (for agency selection), (2) “client
dissatisfaction” and (3) “termination”. Davidson and Kapelianis (1996) discussed agencyclient
relationship in South Africa and presented a similar model of agencyclient relationship with
“three distinct, yet interrelated, stages”: (1) pre-contracting stage, (2) contracting stage, and (3)
post-contracting stage. Finally, Waller (1999) classified three stages in an agencyclient
relationship life-cycle: (1) “agency evaluation/selection”, (2) “relationship development and
maintenance”, and (3) “agency review/termination”.
For this study the respondents were asked to classify what stage of the relationship they were
currently in, which resulted in four distinct stages: (1) Inception, (2) Development, (3)
Maintenance, and (4) Dissolution.
To answer the four objectives, we undertook the following tasks. First, we sourced the items
on agency selection factors from previous studies, adding modifications to the items to suit the
purpose of this study (see Fam & Waller, 1999; Cagley & Roberts, 1984; Wackman, Salmon &
Salmon, 1986). We used a total of 33 items representing eight factors to determine agency
selection criteria, and we asked respondents to rate how important (1 = not important, 7 = very
important) each item is in relation to selecting the services of an advertising agency. Second, in
order to determine the perceived main factors for successfully working with an agency, we
presented a total of 68 items to the advertisers. We obtained these items, representing 19 factors,
from various studies relating to working with an agency and again modified them to suit the
purpose of this study (see Armstrong & Yee, 2001; Boyle, 1997; Bennet & Gabriel, 2001;
Hausman, 2001; Kumar, Scheer & Steenkamp, 1995; Nielson, 1998; Sharma & Patterson, 1999,
2000; Selnes, 1998; Wong & Sohal, 2002; So & Speece, 2000; and Yau et al., 1999). For this
section, we asked the respondents to think of a recent promotion campaign on which they have
worked with their present advertising agency and then indicate to what extent they
agree/disagree (1 = strongly disagree, 7 = strongly agree) with these relationship statements.
Third, the questionnaire included an item relating to the company’s stage (inception,
development, maintenance and dissolution) of relationship with its advertising agency. We
provided a description of each stage to ensure the respondents understood its meaning. As the
study intended to secure the marketing (including product, brand or communication) manager’s
opinion on client-agency relationship, the questionnaire included a check item relating to the
position of the respondents within the company.
We mailed the questionnaire randomly to 600 (every fourth name on the list) selected
advertisers in Hong Kong, having obtained addresses from the Hong Kong Directory of
Advertisers. We made no prior contact with these advertisers, although their chairpersons
officially informed them at an annual meeting. Besides the 92 undelivered questionnaires, we
received 82 usable responses, representing a response rate of 16 percent at the end of a four-
week wait. This is a typical response rate in busy Hong Kong, where respondents are reluctant to
participate for fear of revealing too much to a competitor or they simply do not have any
inclination to participate in the study. Of the 82 replies, 60 were at manager level and 22 were
senior managers of various organizations, including grocery, insurance, banking, clothing/shoes,
hardware, transport, telecommunications and real estate organizations.
Criteria Used for Agency Selection
Table 1 shows the factors relating to what are perceived to be the main factors for agency
selection. Based on the mean scores, the factors perceived to be important for agency selection
are: Interpersonal Relations (mean = 5.44), Creative Ability (5.38), Quality Account Team
(5.27), Integrity & Shared Purpose (5.25), Agency Resources (5.17), Marketing & Strategy
Development (5.13), Agency Experience (5.03), and Reputation (4.65). These results answer
objective 1. The findings further confirmed earlier studies (see Fam & Waller, 1999; Dowling,
1994; Marshall & Na, 1994) that the people factoris an important criterion for selection on the
part of advertisers.
Place Table 1 Here
Working with the Agency
To determine the perceived main factors for successfully working with an agency, we
forwarded 68 items representing 19 factors to the advertisers. A list of the factors with the
individual items and the group means and α reliability scores are presented in Table 2. Based on
the mean scores, the factors perceived to be important for agency selection are: Trust in
Agency’s Honesty (mean = 4.85), Client Dependence (4.61), Expertise/Knowledge (4.57),
Reciprocity (4.52), Commitment-Affective (4.44), Bonding (4.37), Trust in Agency’s
Benevolence (4.30), Satisfaction (4.21), Agency Dependence (4.21), Closeness (4.20),
Understanding/Empathy (4.18), Information Exchange (4.18), Commitment Continuance (4.15),
Relationship Strength (4.10), Communication Effectiveness (4.06), Joint Working (4.04),
Benefits (3.96), Conflict-handling (3.85), and Social Activities (3.05). This answers research
objective 2.
Place Table 2 Here
Agency Selection Based on Life-cycle Stage
To discover if the factors for agency selection differ depending on the stage in the life-cycle,
a comparison was made of the eight agency selection factors across the four life-cycle stages.
The results are found in Table 3. Generally there was agreement across the stages, although
there were two factors where there were significant differences: Market Strategy and
Interpersonal Relationship. In particular those in the Maintenance Stage perceived Market
Strategy as a lesser factor for agency selection, while Interpersonal Relationships were perceived
as being a more important factor by those in the Dissolution Stage. This answers research
objective 3.
Place Table 3 Here
Working with the Agency Based on Life-cycle Stage
To discover if the factors for successfully working with an agency differ depending on the
life-cycle stage, a comparison was made of the 19 working with the agency factors across the
four life-cycle stages. The results are presented in Table 4. There was some agreement across the
stages, although there were eight factors where there were significant differences. Those in the
Dissolution Stage did not perceive Commitment-Affective, Commitment-Continuance,
Satisfaction, Conflict Handling, Agency Dependence and Relationship Strength as important
when working with an agency, while those in the Inception Stage did not perceive Closeness and
Bonding as important. This answers research objective 4.
Place Table 4 Here
This study analyzes the relationships Hong Kong advertisers have with their advertising
agencies, allowing comparisons to be made across the relationship cycle, and to highlight which
factors are valued as most important at each stage of the relationship. At the selection stage, our
results support earlier studies that the “people factor” is valued as the most important factor by
advertisers. This factor includes Interpersonal Relations, Creative Ability, Quality Account
Team and Integrity. The results suggested clients in very early stage of the relationship have
higher ratings of who is responsible for their business rather than what the agency can do for
their business. This is quite natural, given that the clients are the ones who fork out large sums of
money for a campaign. Agency management should, in the selection process, emphasize to a
potential client upfront who will be responsible for its account and, if possible, ensure that the
nominated person/s handles the account accordingly. These four factors are similarly valued
across the four stages of the relationship cycle and more so in the dissolution stage. The higher
mean values for this stage could be interpreted as how much the client values this “people
factor” and that the client is prepared to dissolve the relationship when there is a void. Again, the
agency should not be complacent with what it does. It needs to be vigilant at every stage of the
The second important finding is the importance of trust and honesty. This suggests that the
development of trust and faith should be a fundamental component of any marketing strategy
that is intended to lead to the creation of genuine customer relationships. The customer must be
able to feel that it can rely on the agency; that the agency can be trusted. Following trust and
honesty, factors like Client Dependence, Expertise/Knowledge, Reciprocity and Commitment-
Affective are highly valued by clients. We can collectively identify these factors as commitment.
Rusbult and Buunk (1993) claim commitment is “a psychological state that globally represents
the experience of dependence on a relationship” (p. 180). Barnes (2001, p. 121) claims that:
“Commitment represents a long-term orientation to the relationship, including a desire to
maintain the relationship, both in good times and bad”. The findings reflect these descriptions in
that Hong Kong advertisers expect their agency to depend on them for business, to share their
marketing expertise, and to repay kindness. These traits, according to Morgan and Hunt (1994),
represent key factors in determining success of a relationship. The authors claim that
commitment and trust are key because they encourage marketers to (1) work at preserving
relationship investments by co-operating with exchange partners, (2) resist attractive short-term
alternatives in favor of the expected long-term benefits of staying with existing partners, and (3)
view potentially high risk action as being prudent because of the belief that their partners will
not act opportunistically (p. 22).
Correlating these factors across the relationship cycle provides a much richer insight into how
clients value (higher mean) trust, honesty and commitment. Clients valued these factors highly
in the Inception, Development and Maintenance phases. These three stages are the “working
stage” in which most activities take place. Hence it is natural that there is trust, honesty and
commitment between the two parties. Clients want to feel that the agency working on their
account can be trusted, that their business is valued and that the agency actually cares about
them. In fact, trust, honesty and commitment can be seen as the backbone of the relationship.
The next group of factors that clients value (higher mean) in the Development and
Maintenance phases includes information exchange, joint working, understanding,
communication effectiveness, conflict-handling, satisfaction, benefits, and relationship strength.
During this stage, what the clients want is an understanding of their business, sharing of
information and results. Agency managers should take the perspective of their client. Satisfying
clients involves a great deal more than giving them great campaigns. They are interested in
greater exchange of information, such as sharing technical know-how and/or research
information and would also like to get involved in the development of a campaign. To address
this, agency managers should accord their client a helping hand, get it involved in the
development and planning of a campaign, and share with the client any accolades they have
achieved. Delivering extraordinary service is another way in which an agency can endear itself
to its clients, such as defending the client when it is being criticized or readily adjusting business
objectives to meet the client’s unforeseen needs. Finally, the group of factors that clients value
(higher mean) at the Dissolution stage is closeness, bonding and client dependence. This must
not be seen as a lost cause. Clients value these factors, as presumably the dissolution of the
relationship might not have eventuated had the agency paid more attention to their needs. The
concept of closeness has considerable value in relationship marketing. In a study of predictors of
advertising client-agency relationship dissolution, Hardy (2001) found the “breakdown of
interpersonal relationships”, and “priorities” as primary reasons for termination. Although the
conventional wisdom is to get closer to the customer, agency managers should be interested in
the closeness of their customer relationships and should set out to measure and manage that
closeness. If prioritization of work is needed, then they should explain it to the client. Similarly,
if there is a need to charge the client for services beyond the call of duty, they should by all
means explain to the client why such charges were laid. Clients are more likely to feel close to a
company that makes regular, meaningful and honest contact, regardless of the frequency.
Whenever possible, making face-to-face contact with the client would certainly boost the
client’s feelings about the human content of the service. In conclusion, closeness to customers
has many advantages, such as having more business with that company, as well as the company
being more likely to refer other customers to the agency.
This study has examined the perceived main factors for agency selection and what the factors
are for successfully working with an agency. The results indicate the people factor as the
primary criterion for agency selection. Even though we conducted the study among Hong Kong
advertisers, the findings support earlier studies in this area. For successfully working with an
agency, the study found that trust, honesty and commitment are conducive to building a long-
term relationship. When correlated with relationship cycle, we found that trust, honesty and
commitment are more valued by clients during the working stage. At the dissolution stage, we
saw closeness, bonding and client dependence or rather, the lack of it, as forces driving the
relationship failure. Nevertheless, the findings should be treated with caution due to the small
sample size and the fact that we based it in one particular region.
Armstrong, R. W., & Yee, S. M. (2001). “Do Chinese Trust Chinese? A study of Chinese
Buyers and Sellers in Malaysia”, Journal of International Marketing, 9 (3), 63-86.
Barnes, J. G. (2001). Secrets of Customer Relationship Management: It’s all about how you
make them feel, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Beard, F. K. (1996). “Marketing Client Role Ambiguity As A Source of Dissatisfaction in
ClientAd Agency Relationships”, Journal of Advertising Research,
September/October, 9-20.
Beard, F. K. (1997). “IMC Use and Client-Ad Agency Relationships”, Journal of Marketing
Communications, 3 (4), December, 217-230.
Beard, F. K. (1999). “Client Role Ambiguity and Satisfaction in Client-Ad Agency
Relationships”, Journal of Advertising Research, 39 (2), March/April, 69-78.
Bennett, R. (1999). “Agency Termination Decisions by Small to Medium-Sized Charitable
Organizations”, Journal of Marketing Communications, 5 (3), September, 131-142.
Bennett, R., & Gabriel, H. (2001). “Reputation, trust and supplier commitment: the case of
shipping company/seaport relations”, Journal of business & Industrial Marketing, 16
(6), 424-438.
Boyle, B. A. (1997). “A multi-dimensional perspective on salesperson commitment”, Journal of
Business & Industrial Marketing, 12 (6), 354-367.
Buchanan, B., & Michell P. (1991). “Using Structural Factors to Assess the Risk of Failure in
AgencyClient Relations”, Journal of Advertising Research, August/September, 68-75.
Cagley, J. W. (1986). “A Comparison of Advertising Agency Selection Factors: Advertiser and
Agency Perceptions”, Journal of Advertising Research, 26 (3), June/July, 27-31.
Cagley, J. W., & Roberts R. (1984). “Criteria For Advertising Agency Selection: An Objective
Appraisal”, Journal of Advertising Research, 24 (2), April/May, 27-31.
Cook, W. A. (1988). “AgencyClient Matrimony: Until Dearth Do Us Part”, Journal of
Advertising Research, December, 7-8.
Davidson, S., & Kapelianis D. (1996). “Towards an Organizational Theory of Advertising:
AgencyClient Relationships in South Africa”, International Journal of Advertising, 15,
Davies, M., & Prince M. (2005). “Dynamics of Trust Between Clients and Their Advertising
Agencies: Advances in Performance Theory”, Academy of Marketing Science Review,
Dowling, G. (1994). “Searching for a New Advertising Agency: A Client Perspective”,
International Journal of Advertising, 13 (3), 229-242.
Doyle, P., Corstjens M. & Michell P. (1980). “Signals of Vulnerability in AgencyClient
Relations”, Journal of Marketing, 44 (4), Fall, 18-23.
Duck, S. (1991). Understanding Relationship, Guildford Press, New York.
Durden G., Orsman T., & Michell P. (1997). “Commonalities in the Reasons for Switching
Advertising Agencies: Corroboratory Evidence from New Zealand”, International
Journal of Advertising, 16 (1), 62-69.
Fam, K. S., & Waller D. S. (1999). “Factors in Winning Accounts: The Views of New Zealand
Agency Account Directors”, Journal of Advertising Research, May/June, 21-32.
Hardy, J. (2001). “Understanding Advertising AgencyClient Dynamics: An analysis from the
client perspective”, Unpublished Masters in Marketing Thesis, University of Otago.
Hausman, A. (2001). “Variations in relationship strength and its impact on performance and
satisfaction in business relationships”, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 16
(7), 600-616.
Henke, L. L. (1995). “A Longitudinal Analysis of the Ad AgencyClient Relationship:
Predictors of an Agency Switch”, Journal of Advertising Research, March/April, 24-30.
Hotz, M. R., Ryans J. K., & Shanklin W. L. (1982). “Agency/Client Relationships As Seen By
Influentials On Both Sides”, Journal of Advertising, 11 (1), 37-44.
Kumar, N, Scheer, L. K., & Steenkamp E. M. (1995). “The Effects of Perceived
Interdependence on Dealer Attitudes”, Journal of Marketing Research, 32, 348-356.
LaBahn, D. W., & Kohli C. (1997). “Maintaining Client Commitment in Advertising Agency
Client Relationships”, Industrial Marketing Management, 26, 497-508.
Lace, J. M. (1998). “Evaluating Advertising Agency Performance: Actions to Enhance to
Client/Agency Relationship”, Management Research News, 12 (7/8), 47-59.
Marshall, R., & Na W. B. (1994). “The Advertising Agency Selection Process”, International
Journal of Advertising, 13 (3), 217-227.
Mathur, L. K., & Mathur I. (1996). “Is Value Associated With Initiating New Advertising
AgencyClient Relations?”, Journal of Advertising, 25 (3), Fall, 1-12.
Michell, P. (1986). “Auditing of AgencyClient Relations”, Journal of Advertising Research, 26
(6) December 1986/January 1987, 29-41.
Michell, P. (1988). Advertising AgencyClient Relations: A Strategic Perspective, Croom Helm
Ltd: Beckenham.
Michell, P., Cataquet H., & Hague S. (1992). “Establishing the Cause of Disaffection in
AgencyClient Relations”, Journal of Advertising Research, March/April, 30-41.
Michell, P. C. N., & Sanders N. H. (1995). “Loyalty in AgencyClient Relations: The Impact of
the Organizational Context”, Journal of Advertising Research, 35 (2), March/April, 9-
Na, W. B., & Marshall R. (2001). “A Cross-Cultural Assessment of the Advertising Agency
Selection Process: An Empirical Test in Korea and New Zealand”, International Journal
of Advertising, 20, 49-66.
Nielson, C. C. (1998). “An empirical examination of the role of closenessin industrial buyer-
seller relationships”, European Journal of Marketing, 32 (5/6), 441-463.
Parasuraman, A., & Zeithaml V. A. (1983). “Differential Perceptions of Suppliers and Clients of
Industrial Services”, in L. L. Berry, G. L. Shostack, & G. Upah (Eds) Emerging
Perspectives in Services Marketing, American Marketing Association: Chicago IL, 35-
Quinn, P. (1978). “Wrong Reasons for Changing an Ad Agency”, Industrial Marketing Digest,
3 (3), 37-41.
Rusbult, C. E., & Buunk B. P. (1993). “Commitment Processes in Close Relationships: An
Interdependence Analysis”, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 175-204.
Selnes, F. (1998). “Antecedents and consequences of trust and satisfaction in buyer-seller
relationships”, European Journal of Marketing, 32 (3/4), 305-322.
Sharma, N., & Patterson, P. G. (1999). “The impact of communication effectiveness and service
quality on relationship commitment in consumer, professional services”, The Journal of
Services Marketing, 13 (2), 151-170.
Sharma, N., & Patterson, P. G. (2000). Switching costs, alternative attractiveness and
experience as moderators of relationship commitment in professional, consumer
services”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, 11 (5), 470-490.
So, L. M., & Speece, M. W. (2000). “Perceptions of relationship marketing among account
managers of commercial banks in the Chinese environment”, International Journal of
Bank Marketing, 18 (7), 315-327.
Wackman, D. B., Salmon C. T., & Salmon C. C. (1986). “Developing an Advertising Agency
Client Relationship”, Journal of Advertising Research, 26 (6), December/January, 21-28.
Waller, D.S. (1999). “Attitudes Towards Offensive Advertising: An Australian Study”, Journal
of Consumer Marketing, 16 (3), 288-294.
Waller, D. S. (2004). “Developing An Account Management Lifecycle For Advertising
AgencyClient Relationships”, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 22 (1), 95-112.
Weilbacher, W. M. (1991). Choosing & Working With Your Advertising Agency, NTC
Publishing Group: Lincolnwood IL.
West, D. C. (1999). “360o of Creative Risk”, Journal of Advertising Research, 39 (1),
January/February, 39-50.
West, D. C., & Paliwoda S. J. (1996). “Advertising Client-Agency Relationships: The Decision-
Making Structure of Clients”, European Journal of Marketing, 30 (8), 22-39.
Wills, J. R. (1992). “Winning New Business: An Analysis of Advertising Agency Activities”,
Journal of Advertising Research, 32 (5), September/October, 10-16.
Wong, A., & Sohal, A. (2002). “An examination of the relationship between trust, commitment
and relationship quality”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management,
30 (1), 34-50.
Yau, H. M., McFetridge, P. R., Chow, P. M., Lee, S. Y., Sin, Y. M., & Tse, C. B. (1999). “Is
relationship marketing for everyone?” European Journal of Marketing, 34 (9/10), 1111-
Table 1: Criteria Used for Agency Selection
Interpersonal Relations
(α = 0.74; mean = 5.44)
Compatibility of Agency and client personnel
Degree of chemistry/synergy between agency and client management
Creative Ability
(α = 0.87; mean = 5.38)
Need for agency personnel to thoroughly understand characteristics of advertisers business
Strategic planning ability (including proprietary software)
Overall strength of creative product
Willingness of agency to interact with client when developing a creative strategy
Agencies creative philosophy
Quality Account Team (α = 0.70; mean = 5.27)
Quality of agency people assigned to the account
Extent of top management participation in client service
Agency personnel pitching for the account are those who will be assigned to the account
Cost consciousness of agency personnel
Integrity & Shared Purpose (α = 0.71; mean = 5.25)
Willingness of Agency to make recommendations and to object to advertiser decisions when agency
perceives them to be wrong (reputation for integrity)
Complete agreement between agency and client on goals and objectives
Evidence of agency initiated projects that have come to fruition
Agency Resources
(α = 0.82; mean = 5.17)
Agency can provide full range of marketing and communication services
Agency resource in all areas including account service, creative, media buying, print production,
electronic production, sales promotion, direct mail etc.
Integration of media function into agency planning process
Employee stability of agency
Agencies general structure and handling of accounts - the reporting and accounting systems in place
Flexibility of agency to tailor remuneration method to client requirements
Marketing & Strategy Development (α = 0.80; mean = 5.13)
Agency can provide client with assistance in the development of marketing plans
Agency can provide assistance in long term business development/strategic direction of client business
Agency can provide commentary and information on current global market trends
Agency Experience (α = 0.65; mean = 5.03)
The size, range and balance of the agency’s account portfolio
Amount of agency experience with other advertisers that produce similar products
Ability of agency to handle all market research for the client
Ability of agency to integrate research with creative and media work
(α = 0.79; mean = 4.65)
Agency has international affiliations
Degree of business growth and record of agency performance
Awards received by the agency
Response of past or existing clients as referees
Previous accounts lost and reasons for break-ups
Table 2: Working with Your Agency
Trust in Agency’s Honesty (α = 0.91; mean = 4.85)
My present advertising agency can be relied upon to keep promises
My present advertising agency can be trusted at all times
My present advertising agency is honest
My present advertising agency has high integrity
I can count on this agency to be sincere
Client Dependence (α = 0.77; mean = 4.61)
Besides the present advertising agency there are other advertising agencies who could provide us with comparable service
Our total costs of switching to another agency would be minimal
It would be easy for my company to replace the income generated from the promotion campaign produced by this
advertising agency
Expertise/Knowledge = 0.91; mean = 4.57)
My agency has knowledge about the market and market trends
My present advertising agency is able to answer my questions
My present advertising agency knows his/her competitors
My present advertising agency is competent
Reciprocity (α = 0.81; mean = 4.52)
My present advertising agency and I always fulfill our promises
My present advertising agency and I always repay each other’s kindness
My present advertising agency and I always regard caring and sharing as our business/relationship motto
Commitment-Affective (α = 0.82; mean = 4.44)
Even if I could, I would not drop this agency because I like being associated with it
I want to remain a member of this agency’s network because I genuinely enjoy my relationship with it
My positive feelings towards this agency are the major reason I continue working with it
Bonding (α = 0.90; mean = 4.37)
My company’s achievement builds on our reliance on the present advertising agency and vice-versa
I keep in touch with this advertising agency constantly
I work in close cooperation with this advertising agency
My present advertising agency and I try very hard to establish a long-term relationship
Trust in Agency’s Benevolence (α = 0.88; mean = 4.30)
When making important decisions, my present agency is concerned about my company’s welfare
When I share my company’s problems with this agency, I know that it will respond with understanding
I can count on this agency to consider how its decisions and actions will affect my company
Though circumstances may change, I believe that this agency will be ready and willing to offer my company assistance
and support
Satisfaction (α = 0.91; mean = 4.21)
I am very satisfied with this advertising agency
If I had to do it all over again, I would re-engage this advertising agency
I feel good about my decision to put more efforts into working with this advertising agency
Agency Dependence (α = 0.84; mean = 4.21)
In my opinion, the present advertising agency could easily find another client/advertiser to replace their sales and profits
our promotion campaign currently generates
In my opinion, the present advertising agency would incur minimal costs in replacing us with another client/advertiser
There are other clients/advertisers that could provide my advertising agency with comparable business
Closeness (α = 0.87; mean = 4.20)
I have an extensive working relationship with this agency
Other personnel in my company have spent a lot of time working with the present advertising agency
Other personnel in my company have developed close working relationship with the present advertising agency
Understanding/Empathy (α = 0.89; mean = 4.18)
My present advertising agency and I know how each other feels
My present advertising agency and I always see things from each other’s view
My present advertising agency and I care about each other’s feeling
Information Exchange (α = 0.82; mean = 4.18)
My present advertising agency sends research data/publications to me on a regular basis
My present advertising agency willingly provides important strategic, technical and operating information if needed for the
promotion campaign’s success
My present agency willingly provides proprietary information if needed for the promotion campaign’s success
Commitment Continuance (α = 0.56; mean = 4.15)
I expect my relationship with this agency to last a very long time
If it’s between my company and agency, I do whatever I can to please my present advertising agency first
I regard my present agency more as an important business partner than a service provider
Relationship Strength (α = 0.87; mean = 4.10)
My relationship with the present agency is based on ‘cooperative effort’ rather than ‘arms’ length negotiation’
The continuation of the relationship with the present advertising agency is very important to my company
The relationship my company has with the present agency is something I intend to maintain indefinitely
I would defend this advertising agency if others criticize it
I have a strong sense of loyalty to this advertising agency
There is an efficient working relationship between my company and this advertising agency
The present advertising agency is flexible in response to requests made by my company
The present advertising agency can readily adjust its business objectives to meet my company’s unforeseen needs
Communication Effectiveness (α = 0.86; mean = 4.06)
My present advertising agency keeps me very well informed about what is going on in his/her company
My present advertising agency does not hesitate to explain to me the pros and cons of the promotion campaign objectives
My present advertising agency never hesitates to give me as much information as I like to have
Joint Working (α = 0.90; mean = 4.04)
My company and present advertising agency jointly decide on the goals and objectives of all promotion campaigns
My company and present advertising agency mutually agree before making major strategic, technical and operating
decisions for a promotion campaign
My company and present advertising agency solve the promotion campaign’s technical and operating problems as a joint
Benefits (α = 0.92; mean = 3.96)
As a result of the relationship with this advertising agency, we have substantially increased our market share
As a result of the relationship with this advertising agency, we have increased our volumes and revenues
As a result of the relationship with this advertising agency, we have substantially increased our total profit
Conflict Handling (α = 0.85; mean = 3.85)
My advertising agency is good at solving disputes before they create problems in our working relationship
My present advertising agency makes sure that problems do not arise in our working relationship
My present advertising agency has the ability to openly discuss solutions when problems arise
Social Activities (α = 0.93; mean = 3.05)
I regularly invite this agency to non-business related social activities
I regularly make courtesy visits to this advertising agency
I regularly invite this agency to breakfast/lunch/dinner
I regularly organise seminars/luncheon presentations for this agency
Table 3: Importance of Agency Selection Criteria across the Agency-Client Life-cycle
Χ2 sig
* 0.05
5.2 (0.60)
5.4 (0.65)
4.9 (0.98)
5.2 (0.33)
4.5 (0.97)
5.0 (0.80)
4.5 (1.12)
4.5 (0.46)
5.2 (0.88)
5.5 (0.73)
4.7 (1.30)
5.7 (0.43)
5.4 (0.46)
5.3 (0.67)
5.1 (1.07)
5.6 (0.46)
5.5 (0.58)
5.5 (0.72)
5.1 (1.16)
5.9 (0.43)
5.4 (0.87)
5.4 (0.87)
5.2 (1.23)
6.5 (0.66)
Account Team
5.3 (0.68)
5.4 (0.71)
5.3 (1.07)
6.0 (0.62)
5.0 (0.75)
5.3 (0.67)
4.9 (1.01)
5.6 (0.40)
Table 4: Importance of Working with Agency Factors
across the Agency-Client Life-cycle
Χ2 sig
* 0.05
Trust Honesty
4.7 (0.84)
4.8 (0.96)
5.1 (0.70)
4.4 (1.07
4.2 (1.09)
4.7 (1.01)
4.6 (1.00)
3.5 (1.50)
4.0 (0.82)
4.5 (0.95)
4.3 (0.84)
2.88 (1.00)
4.2 (0.80)
4.2 (1.26)
4.4 (1.01)
4.15 (0.88)
4.5 (1.11)
4.3 (0.95)
4.9 (0.89)
4.3 (0.93)
3.8 (1.05)
4.1 (1.24)
4.5 (1.23)
3.8 (0.99)
3.5 (1.11)
4.2 (1.16)
4.5 (1.25)
4.4 (0.85)
Joint Working
3.6 (1.66)
4.1 (1.24)
4.3 (1.34)
3.7 (0.93)
3.7 (1.11)
4.4 (1.27)
4.7 (1.16)
4.1 (0.82)
3.9 (1.21)
4.0 (1.28)
4.6 (1.03)
3.7 (1.04)
3.9 (1.15)
3.9 (1.25)
4.3 (1.12)
3.8 (0.93)
3.9 (1.09)
4.2 (1.01)
4.7 (1.05)
3.1 (1.14)
Social Activities
2.8 (1.32)
3.1 (1.35)
3.2 (1.34)
2.7 (1.52)
3.6 (0.94)
3.8 (1.18)
4.2 (0.95)
3.1 (0.69)
4.7 (0.82)
3.9 (0.67)
4.4 (1.23)
3.3 (0.99)
4.9 (1.05)
4.4 (0.76)
4.5 (1.21)
5.2 (0.91)
4.4 (0.85)
4.3 (1.00)
4.7 (0.83)
4.3 (0.73)
3.5 (1.40)
4.1 (0.94)
4.1 (1.20)
3.9 (0.77)
3.7 (0.74)
4.1 (0.85)
4.4 (0.84)
3.3 (1.00)
... Understanding quanxi requires in-depth cultural understanding of business relationships at a local level. Fam and Waller (2008) identified four clearly distinguished stages of business relationships: inception, growth, maintenance, and dissolution (Liu et al., 2012). Trust and honesty were found to play an important role during the development and maintenance stages, whereas closeness and bonding played a significant role at the dissolution stage (Fam and Waller, 2008). ...
... Fam and Waller (2008) identified four clearly distinguished stages of business relationships: inception, growth, maintenance, and dissolution (Liu et al., 2012). Trust and honesty were found to play an important role during the development and maintenance stages, whereas closeness and bonding played a significant role at the dissolution stage (Fam and Waller, 2008). Quanxi's impact on relationship performance during different business relationships phases may strongly vary among individuals (Liu et al., 2012;Oyedijo et al., 2018). ...
... Understanding quanxi requires in-depth cultural understanding of business relationships at a local level. Fam and Waller (2008) identified four clearly distinguished stages of business relationships: inception, growth, maintenance, and dissolution (Y. Liu et al., 2012). ...
... Liu et al., 2012). Trust and honesty were found to play an important role during the development and maintenance stages, whereas closeness and bonding played a significant role at the dissolution stage (Fam & Waller, 2008). Quanxi's impact on relationship performance during different business relationships phases may strongly vary among individuals (Y. ...
... Organizations that found students polite also experienced higher levels of satisfaction with the working relationship. Fam and Waller (2008) emphasize that factors such as commitment, honesty, and trust are extremely important for successful agency-client working relationships. Barrientos (2010) and Horning et al. (2020) describe community partners stressing the importance of trust in SL relationships. ...
Full-text available
This study investigated a service learning programme (SLP), which was established by the Marketing Department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in South Africa. The purpose of the SLP was to provide community partners (small businesses) marketing services at minimal or no cost by granting undergraduate marketing students the opportunity to practically apply the theoretical marketing communication teaching in a real-life business environment. The students formed agencies and were required to establish a real-life agency-client working relationship with their chosen community partners (SL clients) (that had little to no marketing communication) to develop a campaign plan in a bid to improve marketing performance. The primary research aim of the study was to examine the influence of the student agency working relationships on the community partners’ satisfaction. The research also investigated the effect of the agency-client relationship on SL client, student agency and SLP measurement variables. A quantitative approach was used to survey community partners that participated in the CPUT Marketing Department SLP over a five year period via a questionnaire. The perceptions of 107 client community partners’ were analyzed via ANOVA to determine the benefits, challenges and experiences of the SLP. The research revealed that a vast majority of the participating SL client organizations were either satisfied or very satisfied with the agency-client working relationships with the student agencies. The SLP agency-client working relationships were also found to yield significantly positive associations with perceived usefulness, lasting impact, overall satisfaction and future participation by the community partners.
... These advertisements could also conjure up images linking to nudity, subjects too personal and/or sexist images which are against the Islamic teachings and for that matter the spiritual teachings of other religions. In a study of advertising agency relationship in Hong Kong, Fam and Waller (2008) found factors such as trust, reciprocity, bonding, and commitment are very important in building relationship with clients. All these factors are highly valued in Confucian society. ...
Full-text available
Confucian/Chopsticks Marketing
... Factors such as an individual age, its profession, the level of its revenues, its marital status, the number of person in charge, its current savings level and its willingness to save may influence the amount he decides to save in a given year. The above seminal papers are complemented by recent studies such as Bomda (1998), Fam and Waller (2008), Zineldin (1996) and Soumare, Tchana Tchana and Kengne (2016). We then formulate our first testable hypothesis as follows: ...
Savings are an indispensable resource for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). They must mobilize sufficient savings to meet their commitments and become independent from grants providers. They must therefore convince customers, which in this paper include the public in general and micro and small-sized enterprises, to entrust their savings. This requires an understanding of these customers’ characteristics, as well as their needs and expectations. This leads us to the following research question: what are the factors affecting customers’ decision to save with a MFI? The analyses conducted with Advans Cameroon customers show that the Customer life cycle, the MFI characteristics and the MFI-Customer relationship have a direct influence on the decision to save. Specifically, age and revenue have a positive influence on savings. Conversely, the number of person in charge negatively affects savings. An increase in the number of branches leads to an increase in savings, while services quality are very important.
... For others, it is more important to ensure the smooth running of advertising campaigns, to lower transaction costs and to avoid fraud in the long term (Fam and Waller 2008); therefore, developing a trustworthy partnership with partners (advertising agencies, publishers, experts) was a widely used strategy to avoid fraud. Moreover, some clients thought that it was the responsibility of agencies and was in their long-term interest to avoid fraud. ...
Full-text available
It is estimated that within the online advertising industry, online advertising fraud (OAF) accounts for at least 10 percent of all spending. Such a phenomenon requires a systematic analysis to examine the marketing perspective; therefore, this article examines online marketing professionals’ attitudes toward OAF by conducting eighty-nine interviews. The findings suggest that OAF is a high risk to the advertising industry and an urgent daily problem for many players. Building on Agency Theory, the results show that online professionals often tolerate fraudulent traffic due to a low awareness of OAF and a lack of sufficient knowledge among clients. Ineffective measurement systems and unrealistic expectations of clients also inhibit effective fraud detection practices. The present study aims to raise awareness by providing a better understanding of this understudied topic from a marketing perspective and aims to motivate practitioners and academics to establish effective fraud prevention procedures.
Purpose The focus is on how agencies can mitigate client opportunism in an agency-client relationship (ACR), particularly during the agency selection stage involving a pitch. This paper aims to empirically investigate the moderating effects of organizational mechanisms (particularly informational cues) and the agency’s past behavior on client opportunism. In a moderated moderation, this paper tests the effects of calculative commitment, informational cue and agency’s past behavior on the main effect. Design/methodology/approach The research is in the context of ACR involving a pitch at the agency selection stage. A mixed-method approach is used. In depth interviews with senior level executives were used to design the experimental vignettes. The main study uses experimental vignettes in a survey. Findings The study finds the prevalence of client opportunism during the pitch. The study reveals a significant relationship between information asymmetry and client opportunism. The findings of the study support the effectiveness of organizational mechanisms in mitigating client opportunism. The findings indicate that a proactive approach such as using informational cues mitigates client opportunism as it signals to the client that the agency cares for its intellectual property. Clients also take a cue from agencies past behavior. Third-party complaints and voice complaint deters client opportunism. Moderated moderation reveals that the client’s calculative commitment impacts client opportunism. Originality/value The study is novel in empirically examining client opportunism during the agency selection stage involving a pitch. The study re-emphasizes that information asymmetry is the primary reason for client opportunism in ACR at the agency selection stage. The role of organizational mechanism and agency response in mitigating client opportunism is a welcome addition. Moderated moderation effects involving calculative commitment is a novel addition.
Collaborative co-creation of advertising campaigns by agencies and clients is widely perceived to result in greater creativity and higher-quality advertising outcomes. This research examines three levels of collaboration in client–agency relationships. Environmental-level effects were found in that clients often had difficulty ceding control and trusting an outside agency. Yet when agencies are viewed as experts, clients come to trust them and better creative work results. At the dyadic level, the depth of information sharing between the agency and client was helpful. In stable client–agency relationships, client involvement need not be as extensive because the agency already understands the strategy. Interorganizational effects were also explored, but a surprise finding was an unexpected inverted U-shaped relationship between agency competency and effectiveness. Only at a moderate level of agency competency is the most effective advertising observed, which is indicative of a “dark side” of client–agency relationships. This study was based on qualitative interviews with 20 marketing clients and agency professionals from Australia and New Zealand. Quantitative results were based on 162 campaigns from the same region reported on by 60 brand managers.
Relationship marketing—establishing, developing, and maintaining successful relational exchanges—constitutes a major shift in marketing theory and practice. After conceptualizing relationship marketing and discussing its ten forms, the authors (1) theorize that successful relationship marketing requires relationship commitment and trust, (2) model relationship commitment and trust as key mediating variables, (3) test this key mediating variable model using data from automobile tire retailers, and (4) compare their model with a rival that does not allow relationship commitment and trust to function as mediating variables. Given the favorable test results for the key mediating variable model, suggestions for further explicating and testing it are offered.
It is an odd fact that much of the recent work concerning selection of an advertising agency has been drawn from New Zealand samples. As this topic is of burning interest to advertising agencies—and of continuing interest to marketing and advertising academics—it seems an appropriate time to generalise these findings. This is the purpose of the research reported here. Data collected in Korea show that there is surprising similarity in the evaluative criteria used in both countries. The size of the advertising agency selection team does differ, however, as does the power structure within the selection teams in the two countries.
Our replication study in New Zealand of failed advertising agency-client relationships provides findings to support previous UK and US research that a common set of reasons appears to exist, both between countries and over time, to explain why breakups occur. Advertisers responsible for over half of advertising account switches in New Zealand between 1993 and 1994 gave identical rankings to their counterparts in the UK and USA on the general factors explaining breakups, and also similar ratings on the relative importance of the thirty-five detailed variables associated with failure.
There has been a recent spate of advertising research drawing upon aspects of organization theory. To date, however, much of this work remains highly fragmented in nature. This article develops a tripartite organizational theory model that attempts to explain the relationship between advertiser and advertising agency. The model examines this relationship prior to, during and subsequent to the contracting process. In the empirical section of the article two facets of the model are tested: (1) the extent to which agencies use creative awards as signalling devices, and (2) the effect that the accreditation system has had upon industry concentration. The article concludes with a discussion of the results and suggestions for further research.
This article examines creative-risk-taking behavior by agencies and the circumstances that increase their propensity to take risks. Drawing upon agency theory, and the wider literature on risk in management decision making, two areas are investigated: (1) resolving the conflicting desires of agencies and advertisers, and (2) how advertisers control agent's risk-taking. A mail survey of senior creative directors across a cross section of agencies is used and data to test the hypotheses gathered. Analyses indicate that agencies are less risk-seeking than expected. Market response and advertisers have the most influence on agency risk-taking, and agencies take a portfolio approach to risk-being more likely to suggest creative risk-taking for relatively smaller clients. The findings are discussed in terms of developing winning creative ideas. Suggestions for future research are identified.
The recent downturn in economic conditions has motivated many organizations to re-evaluate their advertising. Many companies have cut their spending and others have changed agencies in the hope of achieving a better return on their advertising expenditure. This article records information from a survey of ninety-five Australian companies which recently changed their agency, and sixty-one companies which thought they might change in the near future. The findings focus on the reasons for changing agencies, the types of information used to help select a new agency, and characteristics of the group of managers which selected a new agency.
This study analyses the decision behaviour of the selection team which makes the choice of an advertising agency. A mail survey was conducted to determine if the size or the evaluative criteria held by selection teams vary by company-specific factors; and if the influence of the role-players vary by the functional role of the decision-maker or the stage of the decision process. The sales revenue of the purchasing organization appears to be the major factor influencing the size of the selection team. It is also clear that influence in the choice process does vary according to the functional role of the participant. The most influential roles appear to be those of the marketing manager!director and the managing director. This stuay strongly affirms the importance of personal factors as Key criteria in the evaluation process, but little significant variation in criteria between different types of company could be identified.