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Media buyers

Advertising media buyers or media executives are responsible for buying advertising space online,
on TV and in newspapers and magazines. They work directly for the company that is placing the
advert or on behalf of the company in an advertising agency. The goal of the media buyer is to
reach as much of the target audience as possible, at the lowest cost. Media buyers spend most of
their time on the phone, but they also travel to meet clients and media sales representatives.

How to become a media buyer

Employers will usually be more interested in your personal qualities such as creativity, quick
thinking and business sense, than your formal qualifications. However, advertising is very
competitive and so work experience in the industry, combined with a degree in advertising, business
studies or marketing is an advantage.

Skills and knowledge required

Employers look for the following in potential media buyers:

  • the ability to work well with a range of people and as part of a team
  • excellent presentation and negotiation skills
  • an analytical and logical mind
  • excellent organisational and planning skills
  • business focus and budget awareness


Starting salaries range from £18,000 to £22,000 a year, rising to between £24,000 and £40,000, with
experience. Top salaries can reach £50,000 plus

The hours

Media buyers work normal office hours – 9am – 5p/6pm between Monday and Friday. However,
longer hours may be required to meet deadlines.

Useful websites (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) (Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation Ltd)

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