An advertising account executive acts as the link between the advertising agency and the client. They liaise with the clients and manage the whole advertising campaign.
You could be:
acting as a link between client and agency
working with colleagues to devise a campaign that meets the client's needs
deciding how to take the campaign forward: for example, either a single advertisement (newspaper, television or radio) or a whole series of adverts using different forms of media
creating a portfolio of the proposed campaign to present to the client
acting as a link amongst the different departments in the advertising agency: the art department, copywriting, and media team
working closely with the advertising account planner
managing the budget, account costs, invoicing and ensuring all deadlines are met
evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign
handling more than one client account at a time.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for graduates may range from £20,000 to £25,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £30,000 and £40,000. High earners at account director level may earn £65,000 a year and above.
You will be office based, but will travel about a lot to meet clients.
You will work very long hours, including evenings and, if necessary, weekends.
Advertising work can be very stressful as deadlines are tight – some teams stay on overnight in the office to get the work finalised on time.
There are several ways to get a job as an advertising account executive.
Most entrants have an HND or degree in a relevant subject. Advertising, business studies, communication studies, marketing or media studies are particularly relevant.
For entry to an HND course you normally need 1-2 Highers plus some subjects at National 5. For a degree course you need 4-5 Highers.
Courses with psychology or economics related subjects are also useful.
Entry is very competitive. Getting work experience or a student placement in marketing, sales or communications is a distinct advantage.
Some move into this job from other advertising jobs.
able to remain calm under pressure and work to deadlines
able to give and take constructive criticism
confident speaking to groups and making presentations
able to motivate and influence others
persuasive and a good negotiator
business aware and able to manage a budget.
You should also have:
excellent written and spoken communication skills
an adaptable nature
ability to quickly grasp and analyse large amounts of information
tact and diplomacy
an awareness of new communications and IT technologies.
Training is mostly on the job.
Some agencies have a training programme for new entrants.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) runs a Foundation Certificate which is an entry level qualification for graduates and those in the first few years of a job. The IPA Excellence Diploma is suitable for managers with experience.
There is fierce competition for jobs in the advertising industry. Most Scottish agencies are in Glasgow or Edinburgh although 75% of the UK's total advertising workforce is based in London.
After gaining experience as an advertising account executive, you might apply for promotion to posts such as account director.
You could also move into freelance or consultancy work, or set up a small or specialist advertising agency of your own.
There are many different types of advertising agencies, but they generally fall into one of two categories:
creative – services include company branding and the creation and management of advertising campaigns, which could be for TV, radio, magazine/newspaper or digital
media – services include buying advertising space for clients’ adverts and advising clients on how, when and where to spend their budget.
Some agencies, referred to as integrated or full service, offer a range of both types of services.