What it involves
Advertising account handlers are employed by advertising agencies to administer the accounts of a small number of clients, for whom they are the key contact. Account handlers;
- consult clients about campaign requirements
- pass proposals to appropriate media/creative staff
- agree time-scales
- monitor work progress
- deliver final products for review.
Other responsibilities include report writing, staff supervision and financial administration. The work can be stressful and pressurised with long hours and tight deadlines. Promotion is normally into senior managerial positions such as account manager or managing executive.
Any degree subject is acceptable for entry into the profession. A qualification in a relevant subject such as business, marketing, or management can be helpful. Potential employees should be commercially aware and have plenty of confidence, the ability to cope with pressure, good teamworking skills and effective organisational abilities.
Maturity can be a disadvantage, as most enter the profession in their early twenties. Employers often value appropriate skills and personality more highly than relevant work experience. It is important, however, to have a good appreciation of what working within the advertising industry involves.
Where to find out more
Few vacancies occur each year, and many of those that do are with larger agencies based in London and other major cities. Some operate graduate recruitment schemes (contact your careers service for more details, or refer to the 'Advertising Fact File' available from the IPA).
Early applications are advisable during the first term of your final year. Publications advertising vacancies include: The Guardian, The Independent, Campaign, Marketing, Media Week and Marketing Week. Many posts are never advertised, so speculative applications are essential.