China, with its history of a planned economy and current status of part-planned/part-market economy, presents an interesting environment for the advertising industry. However,the advertising industry in China is still somethingof a mystery, particularly in terms of client perceptions of advertising and advertising agencies.After examining the literature relating to China's advertising this article reports on a survey of 200 firms in Shanghai who use the services of an advertising agency. The results indicated that advertising's primary purpose is to increase awareness and sales. Contrary to what has been suggested by previous researchers, the firms in this study felt confident in their media and creative decisions (although they saw the effects of advertising as being difficult to estimate). Advertising agencies are used more for creative decisions rather than media decisions. Clients tend tohavean arm's length relationship with their agency in the sense that they let the agency carry out advertising activities and do not interfere in what the agency does. While not affected by the size of their clients, the agency relationship was affected by whether or not client firms had top-down or bottom-up decision processes.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Business and International Management
- Client-AGENCY Relationship