Advertising Executives

  | James Innes

Advertising as a Career


The role of an Advertising Executive involves working for an advertising agency preparing highly effective campaigns tailored towards the needs of the client.  Generally, they will have a portfolio of existing clients to work with and will also be responsible for preparing and delivering pitches and presentations aimed at securing new business.

Throughout the campaign process, the Advertising Executive will work closely with other media staff to ensure that the strategy and campaign they develop is in accordance with the client’s brief and budget.  The role requires an understanding of the client’s industry sector and their competitors as well as knowledge of the specific products they are required to market.  There are usually deadlines that have to be achieved so it is important that close relationships are developed with the client to ensure that any possible problems or disagreements are resolved swiftly.  Additionally, it is important to ensure that the client is appropriately invoiced for the advertising service provided so accurate records of expenditure and hours worked must be maintained.  Once the advertising campaign is launched, it is then necessary to monitor its level of success and update the client accordingly.

Entry requirements

Advertising is a particularly competitive industry sector and, as such, although there are no specific entry requirements, the higher your standard of education, the better your chances will be.  The most relevant degree or HND subjects to study include Advertising, Marketing, Media Studies or Communication.  Other business qualifications will also be beneficial.  The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) offers training and qualifications including the Foundation Certificate and the Excellence Diploma while the Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation (CAM) Diploma course in Marketing Communications is also useful.

Creativity is a fundamental requirement for a career in advertising as is sound business acumen.  An Advertising Executive generally works as part of a multi-skilled team so they must be cooperative and possess good communication skills.  They are often required to work long and unsociable hours, particularly in the run up to the launch of a campaign, so flexibility and dedication are essential. 

Progression opportunities

There are a number of leading advertising agencies based in the UK many of which now specialise in cable and digital television and the Internet.  Some of the top names in advertising, with offices both in the UK and internationally, include WPP Group, Saatchi & Saatchi, M&C Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and Aegis.  Progression within this industry is generally based on performance and experience, headhunting is common and salaries are relatively good.  Promotion is usually to senior management or director level and some people go on to establish their own advertising agencies, particularly if they wish to specialise in new media. 

A career in advertising can certainly be both demanding and rewarding with the opportunity to work with international client brands and gain experience in working with a range of advertising media.

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