Direct Media vs. Agency Placement

Image of a compass pointing text saying "target," reflecting targeted media

If you run a business you may be considering placing a media advertisement to attract new customers. The question then arises: should I buy advertisement space directly through a tv station, website, radio station, print publication, or should I contact an advertising agency to better negotiate my ad buys? As tempting as it might be to “cut out the middleman,” the advertising agency is your best choice.

Why would an advertising agency be your best choice?

The advertising agency works for you and your best interest, they are loyal to you.

Any business owner considering placing media ads directly through  media needs to know the following:

1.) Direct media buys are placed with the account media executives.

2.) Account executives work for a media partner and their first loyalty is to their employer.

3.) When buying direct, any discounts you receive will be based on your media buys only.

4.) When buying your advertising directly, you’ll be dealing with a different sales representative for each media partner you deal with. Most business owners thrive on building relationships and most sales positions have higher than average turnover rates. This makes it very difficult to develop business relationships or establish continuity for your business campaign.

Jason Wright, CEO, and founder of Tucson’s Amped Marketing illustrates this phenomenon with a story: “Years ago, while purchasing media directly for my employer, I dealt with an account executive, who worked for broadcast station #1. He’d always bash broadcast station #2 in a crass attempt to get more advertising dollars out of me. A few years later, he left station #1 because he was offered more money by station #2. Low & behold, shortly after the switch, he was suddenly singing the laurels of station #2 and reminiscing about how horrible station #1 really was!”



Advertising agencies work for the client and owe their loyalty to that client, not the media outlet. An ad agency buyer or buyers will develop a close relationship with you as the client. They will listen to the goals that you have envisioned for your business. The key to creating a successful marketing campaign starts with understanding the client and the vision he has for his business growth.


When buying through an advertising agency, you only have to deal with one or two people for all your business advertising buys. Most advertising agencies will be able to produce the advertisements themselves. Whatever the medium an advertisement agency will monitor the performance of the advertisements that are produced and place for all their clients. Placing an ad directly with a media outlet won’t allow you to keep tabs on its effectiveness” says Jason Wright, CEO, and founder of Tucson’s Amped Marketing.


This comes down to simple economics. Agencies place media buys for multiple companies and as a result, their discounts are based on the collective dollars they spend, making the discounts even greater.

Advertising agencies have specialized skills, resources, and experience dealing with a wide range of clients across different mediums. Aside from the broader range of expertise, yet due to the ever-evolving world of advertising, they are not committed to any one particular format. They are more likely to tailor your advertisement campaign to your specific target audience, and also recommend the most effective mediums to convey your message for your products or services.