The progency is an agency. Advertising agencies have been central to marketing and have a long history.
ClearCode writes: “An advertising agency, often referred to as a creative agency, is a company providing services associated with creating, planning, and managing advertising campaigns, but may also handle other forms of promotion and marketing for its clients. Advertising agencies are generally independent, external companies working for their clients, which can include businesses, international corporations, non-profit organizations, and other agencies. Traditionally, brands hired ad agencies to produce television commercials and run print campaigns in magazines, newspapers, and on billboards. Today, many agencies create, run, and manage online campaigns using an array of advertising and marketing technologies. These types of agencies are also known as interactive, media, or digital agencies.”
Wikipedia adds: “An ad agency is generally independent of the client; it may be an internal department or agency that provides an outside point of view to the effort of selling the client’s products or services, or an outside firm. An agency can also handle overall marketing and branding strategies promotions for its clients, which may include sales as well.”
ReleaseMyAd offers the early history: “The first agency dated back as far as 1786 when William Taylor opened his office in London, today acknowledged as the first advertising agency in history. However, while the UK business is considered the forerunner of advertising agencies in Europe, it was Volney B. Palmer who took the idea across the ocean. In 1840 Palmer opened the first agency in America. Adland: A Global History of Advertising cites Palmer describing the services he provided using the term “agent”: “the duly authorized agent of most of the best newspapers of all the cities and provincial towns in the United States and Canada, for which he is daily receiving advertisements and subscriptions.””
Wikipedia elaborates: “All advertising agencies are called that because they are acting as agents for their principals which were the media. They were then, and are now, paid by the media to sell advertising space to clients. Originally, in the 18th century, and the first half of the 19th, advertising agencies made all of their income from commissions paid by the media for selling space to the client. Although it is still the case that the majority of their income comes from the media, in the middle of the 19th century, agencies began to offer additional services which they sold directly to the client. Such services can include writing the text of the advertisement.”
More from ClearCode: “For a long time, agencies were the go-to businesses for all offline advertising efforts. However, the introduction of the Internet was a complete game changer for both brands and publishers. AdTech companies started disrupting and threatening the way ad agencies operated and by offering completely new opportunities, shifted the balance of power away from agencies. The rise of the Internet and online advertising technologies have given agencies access to unparallelled amounts of data about consumers and their online behavior. The resulting diversification of marketing options has become the main challenge for brands, influencing what they expect from agencies today. Because digital marketing creates vast amounts of information, new tools are needed to make sense of and leverage the data.”
Most large agencies today offer a full spectrum of services from the traditional branding to the digital era performance marketing solutions.