Advertising and Media Executive

Occupation Overview

This occupation is found in the Advertising and Media industry which is worth over £20bn to the UK economy.  People in the industry create messages (campaigns) which are intended to inform or influence the people who receive them. Agencies exist in every part of the UK and range in size from two people to thousands, however the majority are Small to Medium sized businesses, where they always work as part of a team of internal and external people. The broad purpose of the occupation is helping the day to day progress of the whole advertising process, from receiving the brief from the marketing team, including objectives, budget and timescales, through to the measurement of how effective the advertisement has been. They also understand how the component parts are successfully orchestrated, with effective trade-offs being made as the process continues and evolves. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with many other people, processes and systems. (For example the client, 3rd party suppliers, the broad team at the agency.) They help campaigns move forward, coping with inevitable set-backs and changes in direction (some at the last minute), whilst showing collaboration and maintaining relationships with all. Usually they report to an Account or Media Manager.

They usually specialise in one of two parts of the advertising process: the first is the process of producing the advertisement (creative); the second is the process of distributing the advertisement (media). Apprentices must therefore complete the core apprenticeship and one of these options. It is important that whatever part they specialise in they have an understanding of the ‘other’ part – decisions taken in the creative part of the process have substantive consequences for the distribution to media part, and vice versa. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for creative or media campaigns.

An Advertising and Media Executive Creative Specialist will be responsible for: working with creative producers (television/film producers, radio producers, designers, copywriters, art buyers) to assist them in their decision making. This might include providing a briefing regarding competitive brands to assist their decisions. They monitor the progress of the creative producers and evaluate their output, keeping team updated e.g. via status reports. They are aware of how the creative work helps the client’s marketing objectives. They also keep abreast of the latest trends within the industry, providing examples of best practice to the creatives.

An Advertising and Media Executive Media Specialist is responsible for: interacting with and getting the best out of automated platforms, using their awareness of what programmatic/automatic buying can do (e.g. evaluate and bid for, in real time, thousands of optional spots e.g. Facebook, TV) and what it cannot do (be certain that spot is the right environment for the message). They understand clients’ marketing objectives and help link to the media where they might place their advertising. They will assist in planning campaigns by providing the team with up to date media metrics.  They are aware of the performance and trends of different media options and take this into account when discussing with the team. They help build and maintain relationships with media owners and use this to help negotiate rates strategically and tactically, conscious of long-term relationships.


  • Identify the ways in which creative and media can help organisations to achieve corporate objectives
  • Dispassionately structure problems and approaches to solving them
  • Manage projects using project management techniques in order to ensure campaigns are on track, e.g. accurate timing plans, and they are also successfully managing their to do list
  • Make use of the systems and technologies that are used in agencies to help plan, budget and bill
  • Produce professional communication e.g. correct names, spelling, grammar, branding on e.g. PowerPoint, emails, minutes, reports
  • Manage timelines effectively, prioritising appropriately
  • Apply knowledge of the interface and the dynamics of the different agencies (mainly media and creative) for a smooth flow of work
  • Adhere to the legislative regulations that apply in the advertising and media industry plus their own organisational policies and procedures
  • Demonstrate some upward, some supplier and client management around commercial realities e.g. a new digital opportunity or a TV production problem
  • Help solve practical and creative problems (e.g. report on consumer habits, gathering useful data around evaluation) within defined budgets and timescales, influencing outcomes without jeopardising relationships
  • Use third party management techniques combined with interpersonal skills (e.g. active listening, and influencing) to communicate effectively with all, e.g. coordinating response to a client brief
  • Ensures the delivery of that supply chain value, on time
  • Deploy the right digital medium to guarantee the most effective result e.g, using Google Analytics to check key words
  • Communicate with clients, colleagues, regulatory bodies (such as the Advertising Standards Authority or Clearcast), suppliers (such as photographers or research companies); by phone, in meetings, through presentations, in emails and written documents such as agendas, competitive reviews, proposals, minutes of calls/meetings, status reports.  Co-ordinate feedback.
  • Apply their understanding of creative and production  techniques to help the idea appear in the correct  format
  • Apply their understanding of the different elements of a creative idea to help evaluate the different elements and guide the execution phase to protect the most important ones
  • Help obtain the right data
  • Able to understand and report differences in ways competitor brands market themselves
  • Ability to influence people e.g. clients to buy amended creative work or authorise a late invoice
  • Coordinate responses to media owners and intermediaries (including automated platforms), helping manage all aspects of the process.
  • Apply their knowledge of media buying to communicate with clients, colleagues, regulatory bodies (such as the Advertising Standards Authority), media owners (such as commercial television channels, newspapers/magazines, billboard companies etc.), or media intermediaries/platforms (such as programmatic advertising platforms, Facebook, Google); by phone, in meetings, through presentations, in emails and written documents such as a media plan
  • How to access the media metric data and report it accurately to the team regularly
  • Help research how the message/creative idea might be best distributed to reach the target audience in the most effective way e.g. time of day, and make recommendations based on this
  • Help obtain the right data
  • How to negotiate for long term relationships


  • The role creative and media plays for clients and the links to commercial objectives
  • Project management techniques
  • The systems and digital technologies that are used in agencies such as Sage, scheduling tools and Excel
  • Construction of accurate and timely reports and minutes
  • The lifecycle of an advertising campaign i.e. what needs to happen when
  • The different roles performed by different agencies (mainly media and creative), different parts of agencies and the core services of their own organisation
  • The key legal, regulatory and ethical issues for advertising  and media, e.g. advertising to children, data regulation with relevance to advertising, General Data Protection Regulation compliance
  • The commercial dynamics of advertising and media
  • The foundation advertising landscape and how it is changing e.g. the impact of digital technology and platforms, the proliferation of options for content and media, the complex consumer journey to purchase, the rise of big data, the corporate landscape, how advertising’s effectiveness is evaluated
  • Principles of third party (e.g. client, supplier, regulatory body) management and delivery
  • Understands the value the supply chain can provide e.g. digital marketing
  • Understands the digital landscape and how it impacts on any given campaign
  • The creative process/dynamic and how people operate in that environment; how to communicate effectively with each group
  • New creative and production techniques, tools and trends e.g. using Influencers to reach audiences, using Snapchat Stories, how to use virtual reality, the possible benefits of Artificial Intelligence
  • Understand the different elements of a creative idea (copy and art direction) and its execution, understanding the relative importance of those different elements, e.g. does a change to the execution change the idea?
  • Understand how the effectiveness of a campaign is measured against client business objectives
  • Understand the fundamentals of why brand building is important
  • How to influence people e.g. listen to them, always try for win:win
  • The media buying process/dynamic and how people operate and negotiate in that environment
  • New media buying techniques, tools and trends e.g. new programmatic (automated) media buying platforms; using new digital mediums such as Twitter, Spotify; new data sources from Google and others
  • Up to date media metrics e.g. latest Google Adwords, latest viewing figures from Broadcasters Audience Research Board
  • Understands how the location and timing of media interacts with creative content
  • Understand how media planning and buying is evaluated short and long term


  • Flexible problem solver with ability to help the team prioritise effectively
  • Shows attention to detail
  • Embraces problems as challenges to be solved, displays 'can-do' attitude
  • Behaves with versatility and others respond positively to them (they are "likable")
  • Display empathy and patience with a variety of different personality types and others respond positively to them
  • Exhibits curiosity about people, their motivations and how to get the best out of them
  • Exhibits curiosity about the industry, positive approach to learning
  • Shows resilience (e.g. doesn't take things too personally, keeps going through difficult situations)
  • Takes responsibility for learning under pressure

Entry Requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 


This apprenticeship typically lasts 18 months.

Professional Qualifications/Recognition

  • IPA Foundation Certificate / Level 3
  • This standard will be reviewed after three years.

Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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