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Advertising Media Planner Profile

Advertising Media Planner Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Advertising Media Planner. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Advertising Media Planner
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Advertising Media Planner Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Media planners decide which media will be most effective for an advertising campaign - for example, newspapers, magazines and posters, or radio, television and cinema. Using information from the account executive and industry statistics, planners produce an action plan and cost schedule and present this to the client.
When the schedule is agreed, the buyer uses it to negotiate advertising time or space. Much of the negotiation is carried out by phone.

The buyer records transactions and prepares costings, often working on more than one account at a time. The roles of planner and buyer are often combined. Planners and buyers normally work office hours, Monday to Friday, and evenings and weekends when necessary. They spend most of their time indoors in comfortable offices. They may visit clients and media owners.

An advertising media planner needs to be:

• able to work with a range of people
• able to understand the business side of advertising
• good at written and spoken communication
• good at numerical and statistical skills.

Most opportunities are in London. Other centres for advertising are Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

There are no set entry qualifications but most entrants have A levels/H grades, and many are graduates. New entrants normally shadow experienced staff. Some larger agencies offer structured training.

Promotion to senior or director level depends on experience and ability.

What does the role encounter?

Advertising media planners are responsible for deciding which media will be most effective for an advertising campaign.

Media buyers buy the space or time where the greatest number of people in the target audience will see the advertisement, at the lowest cost to the client. Space refers to newspapers, magazines and posters and time refers to radio, television and cinema ads. The roles of planner and buyer are usually combined.

An account executive briefs the planners about the product or service to be advertised, the strategy, target audience and available budget. The planner then produces an action plan using industry statistics such as National Readership Surveys (NRS), viewing figures from BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) and the Target Group Index directory. Additional research may also be commissioned.

They present a media and cost schedule to their client, recommending which type of media should be used, where and when. When agreed by the client, it is used to brief the media buyer.

Buyers negotiate advertising time or space as detailed in the media plan. Much of the negotiation is carried out by phone. It is important that they build good working relationships with the people they buy from.

Buyers record transactions and prepare costings, often working on more than one account at a time.

Some media staff are also involved in designing advertising campaigns, formulating strategy and generating ideas.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Media planners normally work 9am to 5pm, or 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, but sometimes they work evenings or at weekends, depending on workload. Some agencies have flexible working hours on the understanding that staff will work late if a job needs finishing. Advertising Media Planners spend most of their time indoors, sitting in comfortable offices, but they may visit clients and media owners.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are only a guide. London agencies usually offer the highest wages.

New entrants start on around £15,000.
Experienced planners/buyers earn £24,000 to £30,000.
Very senior planners/buyers can earn £50,000 or more.

What type of skills will I need?

Advertising media planners need:

• to work well with a range of people and as part of a team
• understanding of the business side of advertising
• a thorough understanding of the media
• good written and spoken communication skills
• good numerical and statistical skills
• computer literacy
• stamina and drive to work under pressure and to deadlines
• a smart appearance and professional manner
• to be well organised and capable of careful record-keeping
• to be persuasive and tactful
• good negotiating skills
• a confident telephone manner
• to be able to make decisions instantly and often under pressure.

What type of training will I receive?

Training varies greatly according to the size of agency. Planners may spend time shadowing experienced staff, while larger agencies are likely to have structured training programmes. Training is also available from the Institute IPA, and the Advertising Association, which runs a four-day media business course.

Some staff study for CAM Advanced Certificates, full time, part time, or by intensive or distance learning. Each certificate takes at least 60 hours’ study.

Career Progression:

Career progression is based on experience and ability, and relevant qualifications are an advantage. Promotion can be to senior or director level. Headhunting is very common.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Advertising Account Executive
Advertising Account Planner
Advertising Creative Copywriter/Director
Market Research Executive
Marketing Manager
Public Relations Officer
Media Researcher
Sales Assistant
Sales Manager.

Where can I find further information?

Account Planning Group, 16 Creighton Avenue, London N10 1NU. 020 8444 3692. Website:

British Interactive Media Association, Briarlea House, Southend Road, South Green, Billericay CM11 2PR. 01277 658107. Website:

Communication, Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation Ltd (CAM), Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead SL6 9QH. 01628 427 120. Website:

The Advertising Association, Abford House, 15 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1NJ. 020 7828 2771. Website:

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), 44 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QS. 020 7235 7020. Website:

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Marketing Week
Media Week
PR Week
Press Gazette
The Guardian.

Other Useful Advertising Media Planner Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Advertising Media Planner job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Advertising Media Planner Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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