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The Mad Men's Guide to Job Titles at an Advertising Agency

Posted on October 2, 2012

Wondering who's who within the creative department at an advertising agency? Well channel your inner Mad Man (or Woman) and check out this handy guide to common ad agency job titles to find out what people really do within the creative department. (Unlike the popular television show, the answer is not drink and smoke all day long!)

Creative Director aka Don Draper

Creative directors are the final decision maker regarding copy/design and will often approve important projects before they can be shown to the client. CDs will have several years of experience in the advertising field and are responsible for all staffers within the creative department. Coming from either a copy or design background, they will often accompany account executives on new business pitches and present creative concepts to the client.

Art Director aka Salvatore Romano

In addition to doing high-level design work, these experienced artists will brainstorm new creative concepts with copy directors, art direct photo shoots and supervise junior level designers, illustrators and production artists.

Copy Director aka Peggy Olson

As the lead writers at an agency, copy directors will work closely with art directors to come up with new creative campaigns as well as write for larger projects which will then be handed off to a junior writer. Projects could include traditional print work as well as broadcast for radio and television.

Graphic Designer aka Stan Rizzo

Graphic artists work on the day-to-day design tasks at an agency, such as designing ads, billboards, brochures and other pieces that support an existing campaign. They may also be required to do production work such as creating mock-ups for client meetings or prepping files to go to the printer.

Copywriter aka Michael Ginsberg

Copywriters work on the day-to-day writing tasks at an agency, such as writing body copy for ads or making client-dictated copy changes to a brochure. They may also be required to do proofreading and editing.

Account Executive aka Pete Campbell

Account executives work as the liaison between the client and the advertising agency. They regularly meet with clients to review current projects and discuss upcoming jobs. AEs will also work with the writers and designers to make sure that creative concepts are on-target with client expectations.

Even those times have changed a lot since the 1960s (notice we didn't even talk about web developers or social media strategists!), you can see that there are still some similarities between Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and modern advertising agencies. And while we here at Kiwi Creative prefer more non-traditional titles (Jen is the Head Honcho; Maeghan is the Sales Strategist), we're really doing the same creative graphic design and copy work described above.

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Topics: Working With An Agency

Meaghan Gorman

Written by Meaghan Gorman

Maeghan Gorman is a sales and marketing specialist with a degree in Marketing from John Carroll University.

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