What is an Agency?


Our definition: A formal group working on behalf of another

Official definition: “An organization, company, or bureau that provides some service for another” (Dictionary.com).

Origins: The idea of a place where business is done for another emerged in the 1800s out of the Latin word for “effective, powerful.”

An agency is not:

  • Only about individuals or government. When you think of an agency, your mind might jump to talent agencies or the Central Intelligence Agency. But of course there are agencies dedicated to businesses as well, such as advertising and creative agencies (like us!).

  • Clearly defined. There is no real official understanding of what exactly makes one organization an agency or not. Dictionaries and government documents are inconsistent!

  • Self-centered. By nature, agencies work on behalf of other individuals, businesses, or government entities.