Advertising Sales Agents

Advertising sales agents, also known as advertising account executives or advertising sales representatives, sell advertising services to clients. The advertising account executive directs the client's advertising campaign. Advertising sales agents also serve as the connection between an advertising agency and the client. They typically work closely with the client's advertising manager. Obtaining new clients is an important part of the job.

They collaborate with the art, copywriting and marketing departments to develop advertising campaigns. In small agencies, the owner or partners handle the copywriting and art and other creative work and also perform the duties of an account executive.

Advertising sales agents also sell advertising on behalf of periodicals, newspapers, television stations, radio stations, telephone directories, direct mail and outdoor advertisers, and web sites. Firms that are regionally based typically have advertising account executives that deal with local clients and other agents that solicit advertising from national advertisers.


  • Obtain new clients
  • Perform research for an advertising campaign
  • Determine the client's needs and goals
  • Determine the target market
  • Become familiar with the client's products
  • Develop a creative concept
  • Prepare a budget for an advertising campaign
  • Make sales projections for the advertising campaign
  • Make sure the advertising campaign adheres to the schedule
  • Make changes to the advertising campaign if it's not achieving expected results

Job Characteristics

Most advertising sales representatives occasionally work outside of their office to meet with clients and potential clients. Many agents work more than 40 hours a week and have irregular hours. Some agents are able to determine their own work schedules.

The job can be stressful at times since income and job security depend on the agent's ability to maintain their client's and expand his or her clientele. Generally, companies establish monthly sales quotas for advertising sales agents which can add pressure to the job.

Advertising sales representatives need good interpersonal, organizational and communication skills. A pleasant personality is also important for the occupation. Creativity is a useful trait for advertising sales agents that have to develop new ways for attracting clients and servicing their existing clients.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 7 percent employment growth for advertising sales agents during the 2008 to 2018 timeframe which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. New job opportunities may be created due to the growing amount of online advertisers, cable channels and other advertising media. The projected growth will probably be partially offset by the decline in print media.

In 2008 about 33 percent of advertising sales agents worked in advertising, public relations and related services. Approximately 32 percent worked for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers. Approximately 17 percent were employed in television and radio broadcasting. Media representative companies are included in the advertising and related services industry.

In 2008 the median annual earnings, including commissions, for advertising sales agents was $43,480. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $93,600. Performance based pay, including commissions and bonuses can be a large portion of an advertising sales representative's earnings. Most employers provide some combination of a salary, bonuses and commissions.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Some employers prefer candidates that have earned a college degree, especially for jobs provided by large employers that include meeting clients. Small companies are more willing to hire those with only a high school diploma. Training is usually provided on the job. Educational requirements are not likely to be as strict for individuals that have been successful at selling other products. Useful courses include marketing, advertising, communication, leadership and business.


Major Employers

The top job providers are the advertising and related services industry, television stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, direct mail and outdoor advertisers, web sites and directories.

Schools for Advertising Sales Agents are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Advertising Sales Agents

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Advertising Sales Agents jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 9,380 $76,880
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 3,760 $65,720
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 3,600 $88,620
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 2,560 $95,050
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 2,510 $50,350
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 2,260 $60,960
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 2,200 $46,870
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 1,970 $51,580
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 1,690 $53,490
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 1,450 $51,480

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to advertising sales agents

Most Popular Industries for
Advertising Sales Agents

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 59,090 36% $48,680
Traditional Publishing 54,500 33% $38,120
Media And Broadcasting 31,240 19% $42,290
Movie And Music 4,370 2% $62,160
Other Information Services 1,750 1% $45,240
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Advertising Sales Agents.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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