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Many marketing scholars and practitioners would agree that the ideal relationship between a client and its advertising agency is that of a strategic partnership. Yet, one element of the strategic marketing planning process—the setting of the advertising budget—still remains relatively uninfluenced by agency input. In this article, we discuss why agencies traditionally have had little input into the budget-setting process. We draw upon qualitative interviews with top marketing managers to provide insight into the agency/client relationship and identify seven factors likely to influence the extent of agency participation in budget setting. Ways in which clients and agencies can work together to increase agency participation are also discussed.
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