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Advertising and PR

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Gold in the category TV advertising film in New York, Gold in Montreux, winner of the INMA Newspaper Marketing Award, platinum and double gold at Effie. It is not only the large companies from the Austrian communication industry who are successful, the small agencies also go beyond traditional advertising, making creative and dynamic contributions to the advertising and PR industries.


Tradition and Innovation

The communication industry is one of the youngest sectors of the creative industry in Austria. The first Austrian advertising agency was founded during the economic boom of the 1960s. Since then the communication sector has grown steadily and is one of the fastest growing areas of the economy. In the last few years certain areas have shown particularly dynamic development - direct marketing, PR, event management and, above all, online advertising.

An interesting tendency in the Austrian communication sector is the trend towards cross-over services. The borders between commercial advertising and the classical creative industry are becoming more and more blurred. The dynamic development of disciplines such as corporate design or communications design account for the complementary growth of design and advertising. Acoustic brand management originates from the two-way inspiration of the advertising and music industries.

Sectors and Structure

Austria's communication industry is notable for its swift growth rate. Around 20,000 active members are part of the Professional Association of the Advertising and Marketing Communications Industry. In the last decade the number of members has more than doubled.

A third of the companies are one-man businesses. This shows strong market differentiation, as is found in other areas of the Austrian creative industry. A few large companies compete with numerous small agencies and sole proprietors. 

Business areas

The Professional Association Advertising and Marketing Communications Industry differentiates between the following lines of business:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Advertising graphic design
  • PR consulting
  • Advertising architecture
  • Advertising companies
  • Market research
  • Media representation
  • Direct marketing services and address databases
  • Event agencies
  • Multimedia agencies
  • Sponsoring agencies

Within the industry, the Austrian advertising and communication area is divided into two sectors:

  • Above-the-line advertising (classic advertising) normally consisting of traditional advertising methods such as targeting customers through mass media such as print, billboards, tv and radio.
  • Below-the-line advertising ("not classic" advertising) covering techniques such as PR, trade fairs, exhibitions, sponsoring, events, directing marketing and online marketing. 

Creation and Production

Creation is the creative core of the communication industry and is mostly divided into the visualization of the advertising slogan (graphic/art director) and the creation of the text of the advertising message (copywriter). The Creative Direction department is responsible for the overall coordination. In smaller agencies there is often no division between the various work processes within creation and production. Larger agencies are mostly divided into creation and customer contact, although these often merge for reasons of communication and strategy. Within the creative industry, many agencies are prepared to blur the distinction between text and graphics to facilitate the creative process. 


Austria's creative industry has continued to gain recognition in international advertising festivals in recent years. This success is not only celebrated by the local offices of the big international agencies, but also of the home-grown Austrian agencies. The most successful agencies in terms of creative awards in 2006 were (selection):

In addition to the large agencies with up to 100 employees, there are many smaller agencies and sole proprietors who, despite their more modest capacity, are able to position themselves well especially in niche markets thanks to their flexible approach and creative potential.

The trade publications Horizont (in German) and Bestseller (in German) publish an annual creative ranking to rate the creative potential of the Austrian advertising industry.

Public Relations

The Austrian PR industry is younger than the traditional advertising sector. Unlike pure advertising (with the aim of increasing sales), PR is about internal and external communication, with the primary aims of improving communication processes and building up trust and understanding.

Many large advertising agencies have their own PR departments. There are also several successful agencies which deal solely with PR, such as:

If you would like to find out more about the PR sector in Austria, a background study of the PR market is available for download from the website of the Professional Association Advertising and Marketing Communications Industry, Austria . On the website of the Public Relations Association Austria you can find further information about PR theory and practice.

Representation and Support

The communication sector of the Austrian creative industry has a wide range of representative bodies and associations. These include: 


The magazine Lürzer´s Archive is published bi-monthly by the Austrian advertising expert Walter Lürzer. The journal offers a comprehensive overview of the world-wide advertising industry.

Other media related to the communications industry include:


The various areas of the Austrian communications industry regularly offer a variety of awards and other accolades. 
In the creative sector the most popular prize is the Venus Award from the Creativ Club Austria (in German) . Contractors and clients give equal recognition to the Effie awards.

The highest national awards are:

  • State Prize for Advertising
  • State Prize for Public Relations

Other awards include (selection):

You can find a listing of the industry's most important national and international awards on the website of the Professional Association Advertising and Marketing Communications Industry, Austria .
Doris Rothauer / Büro für Transfer