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What is an Advertising account executive? The School Leaver Guide

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What is an Advertising account executive?

An Advertising Account Executive acts as the link between the agency and the clients. They supervise the production of advertising campaigns and are sometimes responsible for deciding the messages they want to get across for the client.

They need to understand their clients’ needs and make sure that the projects are finished on time and within the budget.

What does an Advertising account executive do?

An Advertising Account Executive is the middleman between the advertising company and the client. They meet with the client to discuss ideas and then pass on the information to the agency. A typical day for an Advertising Account Executive will be:


  • Meeting with clients and keeping up with daily phone and email communication

  • Working with agency staff to create an ad that fits the clients’ needs and budget

  • Presenting creative work (e.g. a video clip) to clients for approval and feedback

  • Monitoring the success of campaigns

  • Arranging and attending meetings

  • Making sure the project does not go over budget

Skills & interests required for an Advertising account executive

Advertising account executives need to be confident at negotiating budget and creative leeway (for example, the agency might think an idea works better than originally planned. The account executive will have to persuade the clients to agree with the idea and sometimes agree to go over budget).

They will also need to have a creative streak, able to understand the client’s briefs and help the agency’s team bring it to life. You will also need to be good at relationship building - your success as an account executive depends on the strength of the relationships you develop with clients and with others in the agency.

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Adaptability
- Communication
- Creativity
- Determination
- Flexibility
- Networking
- Presentation Skills
- Self-Confidence
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication

Working hours

Advertising Account Executives tend to work from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Weekend work is rare. Part-time work is not common as this is a position that requires commitment and attention.

Work base

An office.

Travel

The extent of travel required will depend on the nature of the clients and campaigns you are working on. There is likely to be travel to clients’ offices in other UK locations, and potentially internationally, too.

Salary ranges & earning potential

A typical starting salary for an Advertising Account Executive ranges between £19,000 - £29,000 per annum. Salaries at agencies in London tend to be at the higher end of the range.

Experienced executive and account managers earn around £30,000 - £40,000.

Account directors (who are in charge of making sure client accounts are profitable) can earn £55,000 per annum.

Perks & benefits

Some agencies offer benefits such as free gym memberships, a company car or medical allowances.

Many agencies will invest in team-building and social activities, and some of the largest agencies even have their own subsidised bars and cafes within their offices!

Education requirements

A degree or diploma in Advertising, Business, Marketing or Humanities can improve your chances of getting the job.

Getting the job without a degree or diploma is possible with enough work experience, but big agencies usually prefer to hire graduates.

Useful subjects to study at school


  • Advertising

  • Business / Management

  • Humanities subjects (e.g. English, History)

  • Marketing

Useful resources

Chartered Institute of Marketing
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising