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Advertising Agency Pricing Guide April 2024

Updated March 14, 2023

Advertising Agency Pricing Guide 2024

Do you know how much an advertising agency costs? Ad agency pricing can vary. Learn more about the factors that influence fees and average rates by geo location.

Developing an effective ad campaign that resonates with your target audience often requires extensive knowledge of the industry and a multi-channel advertising approach. With a solid understanding of advertising best practices and current marketing trends, professional ad agencies have the expertise needed to deliver a high return on investment (ROI) for their clients.

This advertising agency pricing guide will provide deeper insight into how much it costs to hire an advertising agency as well as the costs associated with popular advertising mediums.

Advertising projects reviewed on Clutch typically cost

$10,000 - $49,999
< $10,000 $10,000 - $49,999 $50,000 - $199,999 $200,000 >

How much do ad agencies charge? As indicated in the chart above, the average advertising project on Clutch ranges from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands. Whether your project falls at the beginning, middle, or high end of the scale depends on your industry and the scope of your project.

Safe to say, businesses in nearly every industry rely on a variety of advertising tactics to generate leads and attract new customers. Businesses also have a variety of choices when it comes to advertising channels like PPC advertising, OTT advertising, and even more traditional ad mediums like broadcast and print advertising.

How do advertising agencies charge for services? Each type of advertising uses a different pricing model and ranges in cost. With so many options and different pricing models, it can be difficult for business leaders to know which channels to invest and how much to spend in each. This is where an advertising agency can have the most impact.

Types of Advertising & Agency Hourly Rates

In addition to the cost of developing ad content and placing the ad, companies working with an advertising agency must budget for their agency rates.

This table breaks down the pricing models for each type of advertising, as well as what you can expect to spend when working with an advertising agency and their hourly rates.

Additional reading, ‘Marketing Glossary: 150 Terms to Know.

Service
Description
Common Ad Platforms
Average Hourly Rate
Advertisers pay a fee every time their ad is clicked. The cost of the campaign varies depending on how much they bid for a keyword or ad placement. The more competitive the keyword or audience, the more expensive the campaign will be. Popular formats include search and display ads.

  • Google Ads
  • Microsoft Ads
  • Quora
$100–$149
Paid ads that are served to audiences through social media platforms. Each platform offers different products and typically charges based on impressions (CPMs) or sometimes cost per click (CPC).

  • *Facebook
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • *Instagram
  • *LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
$100–$149
OTT ads are video ads that appear on streaming services. Advertisers are charged based on CPMs. Unlike traditional tv advertising, however, advertisers can get more granular and target niche audiences, some of which are more expensive to target than others.

  • Disney+
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Paramount+
  • Peacock
  • HBO Max
$50–$99
CTV ads are video ads that appear on connected devices. Similar to OTT advertising, CTV advertisers are able to use demographic information to target niche audiences. They are then charged based on CPMs.

  • Roku
  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV
$50–$99
Advertisers pay for a TV ad slot based on a CPM. The CPM, however, varies depending on the market, channel, time of day, and season they appear. Consequently, advertising during peak viewing times or during popular shows can increase the price of airing an ad.

  • ABC
  • NBC
  • FOX
  • CBS
$100–$149
Radio ad prices also have a wide range in prices largely due to market, genre, audience, and time of day they air and are charged by estimated CPM.

  • AM & FM Radio
  • Sirius Radio
  • Podcast Advertising
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
$150–$199
In print advertising, each publication charges advertisers based on how many readers they have, the size of the ad, and where the ad is printed.

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Brochures
  • Direct Mailers
$100–$149
Outdoor ads are viewed outside the home. Advertisers can expect to pay a weekly or monthly rate for their ad. Advertising costs depend on how long the ad will be displayed, the ad format, circulation, demographics, and expected impressions.

  • Billboards
  • Bench ads
  • Transit ads
  • Wayfinding ads
$100–$149
Email newsletters can be a powerful advertising channel for companies looking to build connections with their customers and clients. Companies can pay a fee for ad space within a newsletter based on their circulation and audience.

  • The Assist
  • The Daily Upside
  • Morning Brew
  • NYT’s The Morning
$100–$149

Note: Price ranges above are in U.S. dollars.
*Prices can follow a CPC or PPC model, depending on campaign goals.

Agency Fees Are Separate

It’s important to reiterate that ad agency fees are not included in the cost to run advertising campaigns. Agency fees are separate and vary. It’s also common for businesses to retain an advertising agency partner on a monthly recurring basis, although project-based ad management is an option.

Financially, hiring an ad agency makes sense for companies that are spending a lot on their advertising efforts thanks to the economies of scale concept — this is when ad costs decline while output expands.

Particularly because ad agencies can increase conversion rates and help their clients manage their ad spend, ad agencies can make ad spending more efficient. Often, companies find that they earn more from their ad campaign than they spend on ad agency fees. Agency fees can also be seen as a percentage of media spend. Some agencies are paid by traditional media vendors with a commission rate. Make sure to ask prospective ad agencies how they charge – sliding scale or a flat fee.

What Is the Real Cost of Hiring an Advertising Agency?

The average cost of hiring an advertising agency on Clutch ranges between $100–$150 per hour.

Creating a great campaign requires a solid understanding of the market, target audience, competitors and more. Additionally, advertisers must create engaging, persuasive, and unique ad content to appeal to customers.

With the resources and experience needed to deliver results on an advertising campaign, ad agencies are often valuable partners for businesses. They can improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaign, increase conversion rates, and earn a higher ROAS.

Services of Advertising Agencies
  • Creative services
  • Account planning
  • Media buying and planning
  • Market research
  • Account management

Before hiring an ad agency, it's important to first outline what you’re looking for and what is most important to you in an advertising partner. The cost of working with an advertising agency depends on several factors such as size, location, and industry experience.

What Impacts the Cost of Hiring an Ad Agency?

  • Agency size
  • Agency location
  • Ad channel (type of advertising)
  • Experience
  • Industry

Larger ad agencies generally charge more for their services than boutique agencies or require a higher minimum ad spend. This is because they have prestige and experience on their side; because they’re well-known in the industry, they’re able to charge more.

How much an advertising agency charges their clients also depends on the services they’re providing. For instance, they are likely to charge more to create content for an ad rather than simply managing it. The same goes for different advertising channels. After all, managing a PPC campaign isn’t equivalent to developing the creative for a radio ad, producing it, and buying ad space for it.

Another big factor that will determine advertising agency pricing is where the agency is located. Advertising agencies located in certain regions where the cost of living is higher generally will charge more. 

Generally, service providers in North America and Western Europe tend to charge slightly more than service providers in other areas of the world. This trend remains true in advertising as well.

In countries where labor costs are high, you can expect advertising agencies to charge higher hourly rates. Fortunately, this means that you can also save by outsourcing your work to offshore ad agencies who may not charge as much.

2024 Advertising Pricing by Location

Browse the most common hourly rates for advertising agencies by popular locations.

CountryAverage Cost per Hour
United States of America$100 - $149
India<$25
United Kingdom$150 - $199
Canada$100 - $149
Australia$100 - $149
Phillippines<$25
Ukraine$25 - $49
Poland$50 - $99
Spain$25 - $49
Mexico$25 - $49

* Countries ranked by Clutch traffic

While online reviews and customer testimonials may help business leaders understand advertising agency pricing, the best way to determine how much it will cost to hire an ad agency is by releasing a request for proposal (RFP) or contacting them directly to get a quote. 

Advertising Prices Vary, Here’s Why

The cost of running ads can change based on the ad channel, time of day, day of the week, geographic area, and much more. Knowing the ins and outs of how ads are priced can help you save those precious ad dollars and help you get a better return on your ad spend.

Consider this: while the hourly cost of hiring a tv advertising agency may be similar to hiring a social media advertiser, the upfront cost of creating a paid campaign on a social media platform is significantly less than running a tv ad.

In addition to the cost of creating a commercial, ad slots that show alongside top shows or during peak viewing times can be extremely expensive. Have you ever wondered how much it costs to run an ad during the Super Bowl?

Dan Lovinger, executive vice president of sports ad sales at NBCUniversal reported selling 2022 Super Bowl ad spots for as much as $6.5 million for a 30-second ad.

Combining production costs and placement prices, tv advertising becomes out of reach for most small businesses. Many small businesses can’t afford to shell out enough money to run a tv ad during the 8 o’clock news every day, but the brand exposure is worth it for larger enterprises with a bigger ad budget.

Choosing which advertising medium is right for your business depends on your budget as well as your business goals.

A Deeper Look at What Impacts Advertising Costs

Regardless of what type of ad campaign you choose to run, there can be a vast range in cost. Learn more about what factors may impact the price.

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Target audience
  • Length of ad campaign

Location

The price of an ad may depend on the market it is targeting. For example, larger cities like San Francisco or Chicago will have more expensive ad slots than medium-sized cities like Richmond or Atlanta. This is largely because these markets are perceived as being more valuable to advertisers. Companies are able to get more impressions from their campaign by advertising in larger markets.

Industry

Some industries are more expensive to advertise in than others. The legal industry, for instance, is very competitive online. The average CPC for keywords in the legal industry is $5.88, compared to the average of $2.32.

Especially for advertising platforms where companies must bid for their ad space, the price to run an ad will increase in competitive industries.

To get an understanding of what it costs to advertise in your industry, conduct market research or complete a competitive analysis. With this information, you will be able to create a more accurate advertising budget. In addition, look back on your total or average gross sales over the last few years to better understand what percentage to earmark for paid advertising going forward.

Target Audience

Many advertising channels, such as social media advertising, will allow you to target based on demographic information, user interests, and behavioral data. Some demographics are considered more valuable for advertisers because of their likelihood of converting and/or the potential recurring revenue on the table.

Additionally, ad prices increase when the target audience becomes too broad because there will be more impressions.

By carefully selecting the target audience in an ad campaign, companies can limit their ad spend while still earning a significant return.

Length of an Ad Campaign 

As one can assume, the longer the campaign, the more it will cost. Over time, the number of impressions or clicks on an ad will increase, impacting the cost of the campaign.

Digital Advertising Is Growing at Breakneck Speed

According to Statista, “digital advertising revenue will surpass 700 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.” Over the last few years, many companies have split their focus to online channels, such as SEO, PPC, and SMM — partially because of how affordable they are. In addition to reducing ad spend, many advertisers have found success because they’re able to:

  • Target their ideal customers with more precision
  • Measure the impact of their campaigns
  • Adjust campaign strategies as needed

As a result, how they spend their advertising budget is more effective, resulting in a higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

Choosing which advertising channel is right for you depends on your business goals and your overall advertising budget. With many viable options, even small businesses with limited budgets can create effective ad campaigns, especially with the assistance of a professional advertising partner.

Popular Online Advertising Channels

  • Google
  • Microsoft Bing
  • Reddit
  • Quora
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Spotify
  • Amazon
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • Netflix
  • HBO Max
  • Peacock

    Pricing Models Have Changed & Continue to Evolve

    It can be difficult to come up with an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to run an ad campaign because the prices are constantly changing. Not only are the cost of clicks or cost per impression variable, but the pricing models being used continue to change.

    Meta’s Bidding Model

    Meta, for example, has changed its bidding model for Facebook Ads several times. Originally following a PPC model, they now offer several different bidding models to choose from. Depending on an advertiser’s goals for the campaign, companies can choose to be charged by impression, click, or downloads.

    Advertising Cost Metrics

    Cost per click (CPC): A paid advertising metrics that denotes the pricing of a single click on an ad.

    Cost per mille (CPM): The cost of an ad per 1,000 impressions.

    OTT Ad Serving in Flux

    Other advertising channels, such as OTT advertising, are new enough that providers are still establishing how advertisers can buy ad inventory and measure campaign performance, and they still need to prove that ads on their platforms provide value.

    Until recently, the average cost to advertise streaming services such as Hulu, HBO Max, and Peacock was about $25–$30 CPM. Yet, when Netflix and Disney+ launched their ad-supported tiers in late 2022, they were asking for $50 and $65 CPM respectively.

    In such a dynamic industry, it is difficult to know exactly how much it will cost to run an ad campaign and if the ad medium will yield the desired results. While conducting research can help you get a better understanding of ad costs, you can benefit by talking to an advertising professional.

    Especially if your business is operating with a limited advertising budget, ad agencies can provide guidance to help you get the most bang for your buck. An initial consultation with an advertising agency is often free (just ask).

    Knowing your business goals, industry, and advertising budget, they can typically provide advice and guide you towards one advertising channel over another. Even if you decide to manage your advertising efforts in-house, connecting with one for a consultation can help you determine the best course of action for your business.

    Hiring The Right Ad Agency For Your Project Starts With Your Budget

    Ultimately, the cost of hiring an ad agency depends on the scope of your project, your advertising medium, your industry, and the agency’s experience.

    Keep in mind, in order to get the most out of your ad campaigns, you should find an advertising partner that understands your business and can hit your goals while also sticking to your budget.

    Experienced ad agencies are able to advise on what type of advertising mediums will be most effective for your business, how much ad spend to allocate, how to organize ad buying, run A/B tests, and provide additional creative support for ad development.

    Advertising prices vary, but ad agencies have the experience needed to help you create an advertising strategy that won’t waste your ad dollars, allowing you to invest more in reaching new customers.

    Whether you’re looking to hire an ad agency for a single project or are looking to build a lasting partnership, there are many reputable ad agencies to choose from—that’s where Clutch can help slim down your search by providing the most personalized options for you.

    Interested in hiring an ad agency? Browse leading advertising agencies on Clutch. Filter based on price, location, and customer ratings to find the perfect partner for your next big project, saving you valuable time searching.