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Advertising Account Executives


When the advertising industry formally developed in the late 1800s, advertisers themselves were usually the ones who promoted their products and services, placing ads in newspapers and magazines to reach their customers. As the number of newspapers increased and print advertising became more widespread, these advertisers called on specialists who knew how to create and coordinate effective advertisements. One such specialist, the advertising account executive, emerged to produce and handle ad campaigns for businesses.

Companies commonly used advertising agencies by the 1920s, and account executives worked for such agencies. Together with a staff of creative professionals, the account executive was able to develop an advertising "package," including slogans, jingles, images, and a general campaign strategy. In addition, account executives did basic market research, oversaw the elements that went into a campaign, and worked hand-in-hand with writers and artists to develop effective ads for their client companies.

Today, account executives handle all aspects of their client's ad campaigns. As a result, they bring a broad base of knowledge to the job, including account management, marketing, sales promotion, merchandising, client accounting, print production, digital design, social media, public relations, and the creative arts.