Companies in this industry create advertising material and place it across media such as television, the internet (mobile and desktop), newspapers, magazines, radio, and outdoor displays. Major US advertising agencies include units of Interpublic and Omnicom; leading companies based outside the US include Dentsu and Hakuhodo DY Holdings (Japan), Publicis (France), and WPP (Ireland).
Demand for advertising is driven by companies that do business in sectors such as automotive, retail, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. The profitability of individual agencies depends on the ability to attract and retain creative employees and establish and maintain successful relationships with clients. Big agencies have advantages in providing integrated, large-scale advertising in multiple geographic markets. Small agencies can compete effectively by specializing in niche markets or offering lower pricing. The US industry is fragmented: the top 50 advertising agencies account for less than 50% of revenue.
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Global spending on advertising goes mainly toward television (36%), the internet (desktop and mobile, 34%), newspapers (11%), and magazines (6%), according to Zenith. Most of the remainder is split evenly between radio and outdoor outlets such as billboards, transit areas, street furniture, and other displays. Internet advertising is expected to overtake television in 2017, driven by growth in mobile ad spending.