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Advertising account executives or handlers liaise with clients and agency staff in the administration of advertising campaigns and the co-ordination of associated work.

Some account executives are paid a commission as part of their salary.

What does an advertising account executive do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Advertising account handlers are employed by advertising agencies to administer the accounts of a small number of clients (between one and five companies), for whom they are the key contact. They are required to know the client and understand exactly what it is that they do and what it is that they want to sell. Their responsibilities could include:

  • consulting clients about campaign requirements
  • presenting campaign pitches and costs to clients
  • passing proposals to appropriate media/creative staff
  • negotiating time-scales and budgets
  • monitoring work progress and keeping in contact with clients at all stages
  • delivering final products for review
  • report writing
  • staff supervision
  • financial administration

The work can be pressurised with tight deadlines. Starting salaries can range from £18,000 to £24,000 and can rise to up to £40,000 with experience. Some account executives are paid a commission as part of their salary. Promotion is normally into senior managerial positions such as account manager or managing executive.

Typical employers of advertising account executives

Advertising account executives are typically employed in the media, with advertising agencies, or in the advertising departments of large companies. Specialist publications advertising vacancies include: Campaign, Marketing, The Drum, Media Week and Marketing Week.

Qualifications and training required

Any degree subject is acceptable for entry into the profession, but business, marketing, or management degrees can be particularly helpful. 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.

Key skills for advertising account executives

  • Commercial awareness
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Confidence
  • The ability to cope with pressure and work to tight deadlines
  • Good teamworking skills
  • Effective organisational abilities

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