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The Induction Kit

The First Week

e m o c Wel Congratulations on joining an IAPI member agency! Firstly, we would like to welcome you to the advertising industry and wish you the best of luck with your new and exciting career! Starting a new job can be daunting so here is a quick guide on everything you need to know when you first enter the advertising industry. Although the content is slightly skewed towards Account Management, this guide is a valuable tool for anyone starting off, no matter what your discipline. We would like to point out that the information we provide is a guide only. While most agencies are completing similar tasks for clients, every agency is different by way of its culture, values, people, size, systems and procedures. This guide will give you a quick overview on who’s who in the agency as well as the industry. We also cover key terms that are commonly used advertising rules that you will need to be clear on. We hope you enjoy your role with your chosen agency. Best of luck!

Here are some tips for your first few days. You don’t have to stick to these rigidly as every organisation is different but some of them may help in you finding your feet in your new agency and help you feel more at home.

F ind out what facilities are in the local area like banks, post offices etc in case you need to run some personal errands at lunchtime.

T ry to find a buddy or your immediate superior, like an account manager and ask them to show you around, if someone hasn’t done this already. It really does help to be properly introduced to your new colleagues.

L unch – what time is your official lunch break and where is good to grab lunch?

If it is not supplied to you, then ask for a list of your clients and their products.

 opefully you will already have one H but if you don’t, ask your MD or HR contact to provide you with a copy of your contract.

 nce you have been supplied with O your client list, figure out how the internal filing system for your clients works and how it is organised. You will need to be very familiar with this.

 ress smartly. Everyone overdresses D a little on the first couple days in a new job, don’t worry about this. You will figure out the dress code pretty quickly.

Go back through all the creative work that has been produced over the past couple of years for your clients. You will be amazed how often clients reference previous campaigns.


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• Confirm who your immediate supervisor is.

 phone list of all employees, their A titles, and the departments they work in.

T ime your commute. On your first day time your commute and ensure that this is built in to your routine every morning.

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Tip! It’s important to have a session with someone in the agency to cover some important policies such as IT policies, annual leave allowance as well as contracts and probationary periods, appraisals/reviews and disciplinary procedures.

Things to Note

Departments of a creative agency A creative agency is made up of many different departments, which varies from agency to agency based on their size, discipline and client roster. The following will give you an overall snapshot of what a typical agency looks like. Client Service Department

Your Contract There are many types of contracts and you must be fully clear on what type of contract you are receiving before you accept a role. Temporary, full time and fixed are all terms you may come across. Ensure that you have read the contract in full before you accept it. If you are unsure, give it to someone you trust to review and never hesitate to ask your employer to clarify any queries you may have. If you are satisfied with the terms of the contract, you will be requested to sign it and return it to your employer. They will make a copy for you and they will keep the copy on your employment file.

The Client Service Department is the conduit from the agency to the clients on the roster. It is the job of the people within the account services department to keep the work flowing into the agency, by establishing good relationships with clients and constantly ‘keeping the temperature’ of the work being done.

Probationary Period This is usually a 6 month period after you have started employment. Within this period your employer can decide to cease your employment (usually with one week’s notice), without any formal disciplinary procedure. You can also decide to cease employment within this period. All going well, your employer should meet with you at the 5 month mark to give you a report on your progress and give you an indication of whether you will be kept in employment with the agency.

Account Director The Account Director (AD) heads up the client service team. Account Directors know their own company’s structure and workings inside and out and also have exceptional business skills and salesmanship. A truly excellent Account Director will be a very strategic and disciplined thinker, providing excellent creative briefs when necessary, and assisting in the overall direction and execution of each campaign by helping the client understand why the work is good for their business.

Performance Appraisals/Reviews These should be done every 3-6 months depending on the agency’s procedure. Always ensure you are well prepared and try to ensure that your manager speaks to a number of people in the agency regarding your performance, so that you get a full 360 degree review. If any issues are discussed in the review, ensure you are clear on the issue and how it can be rectified for your next review.

responsible for managing that account and maintaining an excellent client relationship. Above all, the Account Manager will know more about the account(s) he or she is assigned to than anyone else in the agency. They are the go-to person on that brand. The Account Manager usually reports directly to an Account Director. Account Executive The Account Executive (AE) plays a major role in any advertising agency. The AE will usually take assignments from the client, working with them to create a creative brief for the creative department. The AE will also handle budgets, pitches, timing of jobs (in conjunction with traffic) and the day-to-day running of the account. The AE will report to the Account Manager, or sometimes to the Account Director.

Account Manager The Account Manager (AM) will be the main point of contact on a couple of specific accounts. They oversee the day-to-day running of the account, are



Planning A good Account Planner will be a strategic, critical thinker and researcher who is often more in tune with the consumer than the client. The Account Planner will often drive the strategic direction of each campaign, and ensure the creative work is both on brand and strategically focused. Creative Department An advertising agency has one product – its creative work. This is done by the talented people who work in the creative department. Everything from print ads and direct mail, to broadcast ads, websites and guerrilla campaigns are conceived here. Creative Director If the creative buck stops with anyone, it’s the Creative Director (CD). It is his or her job to ensure that the work the teams are doing is both on brief and of a certain quality. The Creative Director also decides which teams will work on which projects, the time they need to solve it, and will often be there to present the work to the client, alongside the team who devised the campaign. Copywriter and Art Director Team The CW/AD team of two people are given a creative brief. They work on it together to develop advertising concepts. It is a job of creative thinking, and when ideas are presented and chosen they will continue to work together to craft copy and create visuals for the ad campaign. There are many levels of Copywriter and Art Director, ranging from junior all the way to Associate Creative Director. Designer There are many types of designers. Most agencies will have Graphic Designers on staff to assist the Art Directors and Copywriters with campaign materials, and also to work on jobs that require pure design without the need for a concepting team. Designers are very valued, as they can take ideas to the next level and give the finished work an extra polish.

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Traffic Manger A Traffic Manager ‘traffics’ or schedules all jobs within the agency, including monitoring status of jobs daily, preparing weekly job status reports for account management, Creative and Production, and conducting weekly traffic meetings. They would be called Project Managers in other industries.


Production Department

creating versions of one ad for multiple publications, and also creating updates to existing campaigns. It requires a great attention to detail and a studious attitude.

Broadcast Production Department The term Broadcast advertising applies to commercials aired on either television or radio. It’s also known as on-air advertising, and it’s the primary revenue generator for commercial television and radio stations. This is all considered to be above-the-line advertising.

Digital Developer The primary role of the Developer is to work on concepts from creative teams and integrate them into program banners, landing pages and microsite executions according to the concept set forth by the team. They usually have HTML and graphic production abilities and should be conversant in action scripting, the latest version of Flash, click tagging for online banner ads, and file optimization.

Agency Producer The Agency Producer directs and coordinates production activities (television/radio spots, industrial videos, client meetings, trade shows, spot announcements) for agency and clients. They are responsible for day-to-day television and radio production activities, dealing with studios, participating in bid submission, pre-production, shooting, recording and editing. They traffic the finished product to radio and/or television stations and arrange for timely delivery of materials to the agency and clients.

Digital Designer The Digital Designer is responsible for art concepts and user experiences in the production of websites, working within the Creative team or as a part of an Art Design team with other Digital Designers and Copywriters. Human Resources A high number of agencies do not have a dedicated Human Resources (HR)/personnel department so you need to be informed on all the areas that affect your role in the agency. The Managing Director or Senior Manager will be the best source of this information in the agency.

Print Production If an advertisement is printed on paper, be it newspapers, magazines, newsletters, booklets, flyers, direct mail, or anything else that would be considered a portable printed medium, then it comes under the banner of print advertising. The print production team will engage printers, bespoke pieces of print advertising and special outdoor contractors and work with the creative team to bring their idea to life on print.

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Studio/Finished Artist The Production Artists have the task of taking campaigns and preparing them for print. This will include setting the files up for the printing press,

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Partner Agencies The advertising and communications industry in Ireland is made up of many different disciplines, you will be exposed to many different types of agencies, people and niches of expertise during your time working in the industry. The following is an overview of what other types of partner agencies you may come across while working on your clients business. Media Agencies A Media Agency strategically plans where and when your advertising and marketing message should appear. The agency helps the client buy the space and puts their brand message on it. Media agencies have multiple specialities, including strategic media planning across TV, outdoor, press, cinema, sponsorship and digital including display advertising, search marketing, email and mobile marketing, analytics and usability recommendations, search engine optimisation recommendations, online training and consultancy, social media and online PR. This, supported with buying clout, social media muscle, content development, mobile media versatility and more, have allowed media agencies to evolve to the communications powerhouses they are today. PR PR Agencies, as opposed to Advertising Agencies, promote companies or individuals via editorial coverage. This is known as “earned” or “free” media — stories appearing on websites, newspapers, magazines and TV programs — as compared to “paid media” or advertisements. PR Agencies and Advertising Agencies share the same goals: promoting clients and making them seem as successful, honest, important, exciting or relevant as possible. The work of a PR agency include, writing and distributing press releases, speech writing, creating and executing special events designed for public outreach and media relations, attendance at and sponsoring of events, crisis public relations strategies, social media promotions, managing brand pages on social media and responses to negative opinions online.

Experiential or Activation agencies Experiential Marketing or Activation Agencies action a strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages consumers to participate and interact with the brand. Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages an activation agency can help with activities where a brand and a consumer connect in order to offer a true experience related to the brand’s core values. Production & Post Production Houses TV Production Most agencies engage a TV Production company to produce a TVC (TV campaign) for their clients. The TV Production company works closely with the agency team to bring the concept to live on screen. Agencies require the expertise of a 3rd party to engage a director, along with the directors expert crew to produce a TVC. The production company engages the crew from the director of photography, to the make-up artist, to the production assistant. They will in turn engage a production house to complete the post production with the director once the shoot is finished. The production house employs broadcast professionals, editors and colourists amongst others to finish the TVC for broadcast. Radio Production People listen to the radio in Ireland more than anywhere else in the world and it is usually a major part of your client’s media plan. In the agency the broadcast producer will engage a sound studio to help bring the creative script concept to live on the air. The Copywriter and the rest of the agency team will work with the sound engineers and voice over (VO) artists to record creative spots that bring the brand to life on radio. Most sound studios will offer a range of services for TVC’s and TV programming and will help the agency engage a VO artist and dispatch the copy to the stations.

Many of the larger PR companies in Dublin are part of the same ‘family’ as the ad agency, in that they are owned by the same international communications groups.



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Key terms in the industry This section will detail some of the key terms that you will need to be familiar with for the day-to-day Account Executive role. In your first few weeks in the job you will probably have a lot of terms, abbreviations and acronyms thrown at you. Given the nature of busy agencies, people will expect you to be familiar with these, without having given any thought as to how that would be the case given that you are new to the industry! Never be afraid to clarify with colleagues what various terms mean, everyone will be happy to help you, but the list below should give you a good head start. CPA This is an abbreviation for the term Critical Path Analysis. It will commonly be called a CPA or a critical path. In simple terms, this is a timing plan. You will need to supply one of these to clients when you are working on bigger jobs that usually involve shooting and production. It sets out deliverables from the agency to the client on various dates and it usually helps greatly if you stick to it as rigidly as possible as that is the best way of delivering work to your client on time. Your agency will have at least one template for these reports on file. Contact Report After client meetings you may be asked to compile a contact report. This is a report of everything that was said in the meeting and will include deliverables that have been promised from the agency to the client. This is where your note taking skills are put to the test. It is important to take as comprehensive notes as possible during the meeting so that you are clear on what needs to go into your contact report. MP3 This is simply a sound file. Any radio ads that you work on will be saved and sent as an mp3. A WAV file, which you may be asked for, is simply a higher resolution version of an mp3. Mixing Out This is when radio the ad you have recorded is mixed by studio to the necessary sound level etc. You don’t really need to concern yourself too much with this as you will just receive the mixed file from your producer.

Quote A quote, or cost estimate will need to be generated and supplied to your client before you start work on the job in question. Your agency would have a template for this. PO A Purchase Order, or PO is a number given which will be used to invoice for work done. You will need to receive a PO for all work undertaken on behalf of clients. A client can only raise and supply you with a PO when they know how much they need it to be for, so this is another reason why it is important to supply cost estimates before starting work on a particular job. OOH This simply stands for Out Of Home and refers to all outdoor advertising formats from 6 sheets to trolley handles, to 48 sheets, to 96 sheets and to store points. There are many different formats and you will learn these as you go along. WIP This stands for Work in Progress and can be used in a variety of contexts. It is common for there to be WIP meetings. You could have WIP artwork which essentially means that it is not finished yet. WIP documents are also a common way of tracking all work that is currently in progress for bigger clients.

Media Plan A media plan, which will be supplied to you by your media agency, refers to a plan that contains all booked media. For example, a media plan could have information for upcoming radio, press and outdoor. It is a good idea to regularly check with your media agency partner on each account, that they’ve sent you the most up to date media plan.

ATL Above the line, or ATL stands for traditional creative advertising formats such as press, outdoor, TV, radio, and cinema. BTL Below the line refers to non traditional media such as online (digital), mobile, and direct marketing.


Integration Integration is the term used for incorporating the creative from traditional above the line media like TV, press, radio and outdoor into the more recent creative formats like online, mobile and DM. The challenge for many agencies is to make this as seamless as possible.


How to read a media plan

The structure of a media plan:

Media owners, printers, posting companies and production departments work in two week cycles. Cycle 1 begins on 1st January (or the first Monday) up to the last cycle 26 in December.


Your client’s media plan is one of the most important documents in your files; it is a dynamic document, often changing throughout the campaign and should be checked each day. It is the responsibility of the agency team to maintain an up to date document and to work with the media company to ensure all collateral is delivered to the media owners on time.

deliver Thursday before live date or 2 working days beforehand Stations/Spot length/Rotation of spots/Number of TVR’s (Televsion Viewer ratings) Coverage e.g. 1+ 80% 3+ 50% OTS (Opportunity to see)


 eliver for posting 1 week before live date d Format Specials. There are a variety of formats: 48 sheet, 6 Sheet, T sides (forward/centre) metropoles, metropanels, city boxes and transport formats such as Dart Cards and LUAS straplines.


deliver 2 weeks before live date Screen package – dates in campaign


deliver 2 working days before live date Stations/Spot length/Number of spots/ Coverage e.g. 1+ 40% 3+ 25%


deliver 2 working days before live date Publication/Size 25x4 32x3 1/2 page landscape/ Number of insertions/dates in publication


 eliver Thursday before live date or 2 working days d before Sites/Spot length/Rotation of spots/Number of VOD’s (video on demand)

Digital Display

deliver 1 week before live date Website/Size MPU Skyscraper Banner HPTO/Live dates and length of campaign

Digital Search

deliver 2 working days before live date

Google adwords

live date


deliver 1 week before live date Site/Size Banner/ Live Dates


(See media induction for term explanations) 12


Compliance and copy clearance Throughout the course of the creative process and especially at the final stages of production and supply, you will need to stay mindful of all advertising rules and regulations. For certain brands, you will need to consult with mandatory approval bodies. In general, you need to be aware of all advertising rules and you must always ensure you are clear on the more industry specific bodies that relate to your client. On final supply to TV and radio stations, clearance must be sought from the relevant stations. Ireland is a self-regulated market. Self regulation means the adoption by the advertising industry of standards drawn up by and on behalf of all advertising interests. It involves the enforcement of those standards through the commitment and cooperation of advertisers, agencies and media. RTE – Copy clearance must be sought directly from RTE for all advertisements that are due to go live on RTE One, RTE Two, RTE Radio One and 2fm. All sponsorship stings must also get approval. All copy and relevant details must be emailed to All details must be inserted into the RTE form. TV3 – Copy clearance must be sought directly from TV3 for all copy going live on TV3. First port of call is RACC – This organisation manages all copy to be reviewed for radio stations in Northern Ireland. Advertising copy and relevant details must be uploaded onto your account at Clearcast – This organisation covers all copy review and approvals for UK (and beyond, if required) TV stations. Advertising copy and relevant details must be uploaded onto your account at Tip! Never leave copy approvals to the last stage in the process. Best to involve the relevant body throughout to avoid any nasty surprises/delays.

General advertising rules and regulatory bodies Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) - the independent selfregulatory body set up and financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications, that is advertising, promotional marketing and direct marketing. Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) regulates content across all TV and radio stations based in Ireland. They also have a number of published codes and standards on their website in relation advertising for e.g advertising around children’s programmes, advertising high fat sugar and salt Products (HFSS) etc. Industry specific regulatory bodies Central Copy Clearance Ireland (CCCI) now known as Copy Clear provides a pre-vetting service for all advertising of alcoholic drinks in Ireland. No media outlet in Ireland, whether print, broadcast, outdoor, cinema or the internet, will accept any advertising for any alcoholic drinks brand unless it carries a copy clearance number. Copy Clear meet on a Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9:00am-2:00pm. You must upload your creative to Once approved, you will receive a code which is valid for one year. It’s advisable to run the ideas for the campaign past the CCCI Clearance Managers while still at a draft stage. They will advise you of any areas which may fall foul of the code, tel 676 4876. High Fat Salt & Sugars (HFSS) – As part of the BAI, there is a General and Children’s Communication Codes. These rules centre on the promotion of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food to children and apply to all radio and television broadcasters regulated in Ireland. Consumer Protection Code – this code is enforced by the Central Bank of Ireland for financial services advertising. These are mainly managed by the client, but advertising agencies need to be aware of the rules. Tip! Check for updates on new and revised rules and regulations.



Useful Websites & Publications Being current and keeping up to date with what’s going on in the industry is important. It’s important for you to know who is producing creative work, what major clients are attached to agencies, who is winning pitches and losing accounts, and who is doing the best work at the moment. The more you know about the creative scene in Dublin, the better you can feed this into the creative process in your own agency. Below are a list of some important websites and publications that you should check in with fairly regularly.


Finally, best of luck in your new career. Enjoy it, you’ve joined an exciting and rewarding industry where creativity is paramount and your hard work and perseverance will be rewarded.


Please don’t hesitate to contact the Futureheads team if you have any further questions.

Kieran O’Donovan

David Curran

Aisling Conlon

Grace Looney

Tel: Email: Web: Twitter:

01 6955991 @IAPI_Updates

PS: We don’t know everything, if there is anything that you would like to include in the pack drop us a line

Designed by Jamie Whelan Advertising & Digital Communications IAPI/DIT Postgraduate Student

The IAPI Creative Induction Kit.  

The IAPI Future Heads have developed their latest set of guidelines. The creative induction kit is for anyone who is starting work in a crea...

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