Advertising Account Executive

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What Advertising Account Executives Do

Advertising account executives coordinate everything related to a client’s advertising campaign. They are responsible for meeting with clients and other workers at the advertising agency in order to create interesting ads that will get people’s attention. They act as the voice of the advertising agency, since they are the clients’ main contact.

Account executives monitor the daily progress of their clients’ advertising campaigns. They work with an advertising team, consisting of creative directors, art directors, copywriters, researchers, and production workers. Together with these workers, account executives study clients’ products or services, determine who will buy or use them, and check out the market to see if there are similar products or services already available for sale.

After the account executive and the advertising team have gathered all of this information, they meet with a client and make suggestions about advertising strategies. Once everyone has agreed about the general ideas for the campaign, the creative team develops these ideas and prepares ads to present to the client. During this time, the account executive oversees all of the business aspects of the client-agency relationship.

In addition to keeping the client informed about the progress of the advertising campaign, the account executive determines where the ads should be placed, such as in newspapers or magazines or on billboards, television, radio, or the Internet. In order to develop the client’s advertising budget and schedule, the account executive works with media buyers. Media buyers purchase advertising space in printed publications as well as time on radio or television stations. Finally, when the client is satisfied with all ideas and terms of the advertising campaign, production on the ads can begin.

Account executives make sure that all work is completed correctly and on time. They also supervise the work of employees creating the advertisements and maintain contact with clients. The account executives’ most important job is to make sure that clients are satisfied. This sometimes requires making changes to the campaign and redirecting the efforts of the advertising team.

Work activities

As an account executive, you would find out about the client's advertising goals then work with your agency's creative and planning staff to make sure that effective advertising campaigns are produced.

Your tasks would include:
•    meeting clients to discuss their advertising needs
•    working with account planners to come up with a campaign that meets the client's needs and budget
•    presenting campaign ideas and costs to clients
•    briefing the creative team that produces the words and artwork
•    solving problems and making sure that deadlines are met
•    checking and reporting on the campaign’s progress
•    keeping in contact with the client at all stages of the campaign
•    managing the account’s budget and invoicing the client
•    trying to win new business for the agency.
•    Formulate overall marketing strategies and plans, launch and manage campaign work, establish and manage project deadlines, delegate assignments to creative team and present concepts to clients.
•    Proactively present strategies and marketing solutions to meet clients’ needs and build new business opportunities from existing accounts for the agency.
•    Collaborate effectively with strategic media, PR and events partners as needed to produce comprehensive marketing solutions for each of your accounts; manage processes accordingly.
•    Manage, supervise and mentor Assistant Account Executives and Coordinators.
•    Oversee and manage clients’ annual budgets and monthly billing on behalf of the agency; continuously meet and exceed agency sales projections for each account.
•    Negotiate vendor quotes on behalf of your clients, establish project specifications and conduct audits and/or press checks to ensure brand consistency is met through all media.
•    Prepare client proposals, creative strategy briefs, project approvals, estimates, project revisions, proofing and other daily account stewardship services.
•    Ensure that the needs of your clients are met on time, on budget and with the best possible client service experience.

You would normally handle about three or four accounts at the same time. You could work for a communication agency that deals with one or more types of advertising media. These could include:

School Subjects

Business, English, Speech

Minimum Education Level

Bachelor’s degree

Salary Range

75,000 - 225,000 (In USD as of Mar 31, 2015)


Faster than the average

Other Articles to Read

Advertising Sales Workers, Art Directors, Business Managers, Marketing Researchers, Writers

  • digital
  • social media
  • mobile marketing
  • direct.

You could also be known as an account handler in this job.

Education and Training

Advertising account executives must be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Most advertising agencies require that account executives have bachelor’s degrees in English, journalism, business administration, fine arts, or marketing. To prepare to study at the college level, you should take classes in these subjects in high school, as well as sociology, speech, economics, math, and art. Courses in computer science will be valuable as well.

Some advertising agencies hire college graduates and then place them in special training programs. These programs provide new employees with an introduction to the advertising agency’s operations.


Employment for advertising account executives should grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. If the overall economy weakens, however, employment in the advertising industry will be negatively affected because of a slowing in consumer demand for new products and services.

Employment opportunities for advertising account executives will be mostly in larger cities, such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Competition for these jobs will be fierce. People who have a college degree, are able to communicate well, and have a lot of creativity will have the best chances of getting a job.

For More Information

Three advertising account executives discuss an advertising campaign. (Getty Images)

You can become involved with advertising or promotion activities at your school, for social events, sports events, political issues, or fund-raising events. If your school newspaper or yearbook has paid advertising, offer to work on the advertising sales team.

American Advertising Federation
1101 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005-6306
[email protected]
American Association of Advertising Agencies
405 Lexington Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10174-1801