The delicate power balance in advertising agency-client relationships: partnership or battleground? The case of the Greek advertising market

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Power does not receive much attention in the services marketing literature, with factors such as trust and commitment (e.g. Morgan and Hunt 1994) attracting most attention. Yet power balances are important elements of many services relationships and understanding the significance of these can provide insight into the manner in which relationships develop and endure. Additionally, the research into this phenomenon has tended to be conducted in either a US or UK context, so this raises questions about whether power (and dependency) are perceived in similar manners in different cultural contexts. This paper uses semi-structured interviews to explore the power balance in advertising agency – client relationships in the Greek market. The findings suggest that the notion of power was perceived to have negative connotations, often results in conflict and that power lies in the hands of the client resulting in negative effects on the performance of an agency and consequently advertising success and services relationships.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2008

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