The advertising agency, in its variety of forms, is one of the most powerful forces in the modern world. Its products are seen globally through various multimedia outlets and they strongly impact culture and economy. Since its conception in 1843 by Volney Palmer, the advertising agency has evolved into the recognizable—and unrecognizable—firms scattered around the world today. In the United States alone, there are roughly 13.4 thousand agencies, many of which also have branches in other countries. The evolution of the modern advertising agency coincided with, and even preceded, some of the major inflection points in history. Understanding how and why changes in advertising agencies affected these inflection points provides a glimpse of understanding into the relationship between advertising, business, and societal values.
In the pages ahead we will explore the future of the advertising industry. We will analyze our research to uncover the underlying trends pointing towards what is to come and work to apply those explanations to our understanding of advertising in the future.