Job roles

There are a variety of different roles available in advertising; the main ones are listed below. It is also possible to work in finance, HR, IT and other support roles within an advertising agency. Larger advertising agencies run graduate programmes| in all, or some, of these areas, although most jobs and work experience is in account management.

New entrants are usually called executives within their functional area and work on a range of projects supporting managers. Promotion is usually to manager after three years or so, then to director, and then to group director.

Salaries for senior managers can be £90k and above. It is not unusual for people to move between agencies as a means of widening their experience and gaining promotion.

More information on roles within the Advertising sector is available on Prospects|.

Account executive

Works with clients, researching into their market, their services and potential customers. They devise advertising plans for clients and once approved by the client will work with colleagues to plan and start on an advertising campaign. They ensure campaigns run on time and to budget.

Account manager

In addition to the work of an account executive an account manager liaises with potential new clients to create new business for the agency, monitor and evaluate each project and manage a team of account executives.

Account planner

Sets the communication strategy for clients. Works to understand their client’s business to set project aims and objectives and analyse existing information within their client’s market. This information is used to brief agency colleagues who develop advertising plans which the account planner presents to the client. Throughout the advertising campaign they assess its effectiveness making changes where necessary, finally evaluating its overall success.

Art director

Having been briefed by colleagues an art director will produce the creative and artistic part of the advertising project. Produces storyboards or sketches, contacts film crews, artists and designers to carry out ideas, chooses locations and oversees shoots and the final edit of films or television adverts.


Produces the text/words to accompany an advertising campaign. Having been briefed on the company and project, copywriters work with the creative teams brainstorming ideas and presenting them to clients, adjusting them if necessary, finally ensuring the overall quality of the work produced.

Media buyer

Negotiates advertising space in print, television, the internet and billboards. Researching into statistics specific to the customer they use their knowledge of the industry and media owners to evaluate the most effective advertising method for each project. Also responsible for meeting targets, ensuring projects stay within budget and understanding the various contracts involved in their work.

Media planner

Works with clients enabling them to meet company objectives by using their marketing budget to create advertisement through appropriate media platforms. Work includes creating a plan to do this. Using above the line advertising methods, media planners are also increasingly having to construct advertising campaigns which target individuals, use digital methods, product placement and new emerging methods.