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Who does what? Job roles in a nutshell

If the prospect of building brands and understanding what really motivates people to buy one brand rather than another sounds interesting, then a career in advertising could be for you. But are you finding it difficult working out who does what? What the different job roles entail? Then read on...

There are many types of agencies within Adland, and you might be questioning where you fit in. Here are the different roles Adland has to offer.

Client Service or Account Management

The account handler represents the client at the agency. They have a key role in the development of the advertising campaign and are the people who are in charge of the relationship with the client. Account handlers are responsible for developing an in-depth understanding of the client's marketplace and their business, their objectives and then working closely with planners to translate the client's marketing briefs into agency creative briefs.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planners represent the consumer in the agency. They are responsible for developing the key strategic insight which lies behind the advertising idea. They need to get under the skin of the consumer and understand as much as possible about them.

Media Planning and Buying

Media Planners map how to connect the consumer to the creative idea. Planners in a media agency will take a brief from the client which highlights the message that they want to communicate to the consumer. Normally the client will have a budget in mind, but sometimes they will ask the media agency to give advice on budget setting. The media buyers are responsible for negotiating with the media owners of the relevant channels in order to get the best position, timing and price for their client's media space and therefore realise the maximum value and impact from the budget available.


The creative department of an agency is where the campaign comes together. It's where that great idea or stunning visual is dreamt up. Creatives are generally hired in pairs — a copywriter and an art director. They take the client brief and work with it to invent ideas to address the brand's business problems. From here, they work with media planners/buyers and the production department in order to turn those ideas into a reality. To get a job as a creative, the most important thing is your 'book' — a portfolio of all your ads to showcase your talent.

Creative Services & Production

It is the job of creative services and production to ensure that the internal process is smooth and the ads are made to the highest quality, on time, and within budget. The people in this process need a variety of skills and can be split into three main areas — those who control the internal process within an agency, those who source the outside talent for production and those who oversee the production itself, including Creative Services Director, Creative Services Manager, Art Buying, TV Production, StudioProject Management, Traffic Management and Print Production.

User Experience (UX)

The UX guys are responsible for research and design activity required to deliver great online experiences. They are the digital equivalent of retail merchandisers who guide you intuitively around a supermakert.

Social Media Strategist

They have to understand how consumers interact with social platforms. It is essential that they understand how new technologies shape the user experience online. They craft ideas which are social by design and engage with the online consumers.

Web Developer

They are responsible for technically implementing digital ideas by working with creatives and UX. They take ownership of the entire build phase of creating websites.

If you're still unsure of where you fit in why not take the Diagonal Thinking Self-assessment?

Click here to download 'PERSPECTIVES', an informal resource about exciting opportunities in advertising.

To read a more detailed description of the job roles, go to Ad MISSION, our newly-relaunched careers blog.

Last updated 23/01/2017

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