Advertising Agency Services, Jobs, Training, and Salaries

Advertising is an integral part of modern life, surrounding us through various mediums like social media, television, the internet, and physical ads such as billboards and signs. Working for an advertising agency can be an exciting opportunity to produce creative marketing pieces with other talented professionals for clients.

What is an Advertising Agency?

An advertising agency is a company hired by clients and marketers to produce promotional advertising across various media formats. These agencies offer various services, from creative work to media buying and ad placement.

Advertising Agency Services

Advertising agencies typically offer a variety of services, which can be categorised into three main types:

Above the Line (ATL) Advertising

Above-the-line advertising refers to large-scale national advertising campaigns that bring repeated exposure to customers through various channels. This includes efforts like TV, movie, radio, newspaper, and billboard ads targeting a broader audience.

Below the Line (BTL) Advertising

Below-the-line advertising often refers to more specific, targeted advertising aimed at a very focused group of consumers. This could include search engine marketing, paid search, events, social media, and content marketing.

Through the Line (TTL) Advertising

Through-the-line advertising is a mix of both ATL and BTL strategies. It involves advertising in many ways to reach the customer, such as online banner ads, TV commercials, podcast ads, blog content, social media contests, and email marketing.

Types of Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies can be categorised based on the services they offer:

Full-service Agencies

Full-service advertising agencies provide various services, from planning and production to analysing marketing efforts. They offer print, digital, audio, and video advertising in multiple media formats.

Interactive Agencies

Interactive agencies specialise in Internet and digital advertising. They understand online advertising, how to measure its effectiveness, and provide services such as social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, and mobile device campaigns.

Creative Boutiques

Creative boutiques typically focus on smaller, more specialised advertising agency work. They offer customised and nimble creative campaigns for clients requiring a specific direction.

Media Buying Agencies

Media buying agencies work strictly as media buyers for advertising campaigns. They manage media outlets, identify ideal timing and markets for advertising, recommend budgets, and track campaign results.

In-house Agencies

In-house agencies are groups of professionals working internally for a company, handling its advertising and creative work within the organisation's formal structure.

Advertising Agency Jobs and Roles

Advertising professionals can work in various roles depending on the type of services the ad agency offers. Here are some top advertising agency jobs and roles:


Copywriters are creative storytellers who come up with promotional advertising copy, brand stories, social media content, and product copy to promote and sell products.


The art or creative director and their respective teams are responsible for the overall artistic direction of an advertising campaign. Their responsibilities include building the image of a campaign, determining how a product should look, choosing colours, and selecting the type of sets for TV ads.

Media Planning and Buying

Media planners work with clients to identify the target audience, their preferences, and the appropriate channels and messaging. Media buyers are responsible for finding relevant advertisers and media sites to advertise on, using platforms like Google Ads, real-time bidding algorithms, and negotiating advertising rates and run times.

Radio and Television Production

In these roles, professionals work on writing scripts, creating storyboards, and working with a production team to engage talent and produce broadcast ads.

Market Research

Market research is crucial in advertising to identify customers, learn about their desires, and configure products or services to reach more prospective customers.

Social Media Management

Social media managers create and post content for brands on social media platforms, respond to customers, and report on social media results to clients.

Public Relations (PR)

PR professionals create newsworthy items to offer to media outlets to earn media coverage and build a company's brand and reputation.

Merchandising and Sales Promotion

In this role, professionals handle requests and orders for specialty items like coffee cups, T-shirts, and other products to strengthen a company's brand awareness.

Marketing Management

Marketing managers analyse and track aspects of advertising campaigns, such as marketing budgets, creative materials, and web analytics.

Training and Qualifications

Advertising often requires a college education and a comprehension of business administration, data analytics, and digital marketing. Some common skills and qualifications include:

  • Communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • Creative skills
  • Marketing and media skills

Many entry-level positions in advertising require a bachelor's degree in fields such as communications, marketing, advertising, or business. For managerial roles or specialisation, a master's degree in international marketing, business administration, digital branding, strategy, or advertising and public relations can be beneficial.

Advertising Job Titles and Salaries

Advertising agency jobs can be creative or administrative and managerial roles. Here are some standard job titles and their median salaries, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Job Title

Median Salary

Advertising Sales Agent


Art Director




Financial Manager


Graphic Designer


Market Research Analyst


Public Relations Manager





The advertising and marketing industry is expected to grow as the U.S. economy returns to solid growth in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10% increase in employment for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers from 2020 to 2030. The demand for advertising professionals is expected to rise, especially to meet the needs of new advertiser-supported streaming channels.


What does an advertising agency do?

An advertising agency creates promotional campaigns across various media for clients to market their products or services.

What are the main types of advertising agencies?

The main types are full-service agencies, digital/interactive agencies, creative boutiques, media buying agencies, and in-house agencies within companies.

What jobs are available in an advertising agency?

Common jobs include copywriter, art director, media planner/buyer, TV/radio producer, market researcher, social media manager, PR specialist, and marketing manager.

What education is required for advertising jobs?

Entry-level jobs typically require a bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, or a related field. Some managerial or specialised roles may need a master's degree.

How much do advertising agency jobs pay?

Pay can range from around $50,000 for roles like a graphic designer to over $100,000 for positions like creative director, PR manager, or marketing executive.

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