Advertising Media Buyer

Job Category Advertising Icon

Advertising / Marketing / Branding

Media Buyers are responsible for purchasing media space in magazines and newspapers, on TV, in cinemas and on the radio. Media Buyers must reach the greatest volume of a client’s target audience for the cheapest possible price.

Work activities

A media buyer will negotiate, monitor and purchase advertising space on behalf of a client, with the intent to reach the highest volume of the client's target audience for the lowest possible price.

Working conditions

Working hours are normally 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, though you may often need to work past 5pm on some projects or during deadline periods. Whilst you will normally be office based - working on the phone. However, you may need to travel to visit clients or media sales representatives.

Entry requirements

For media buying roles, employers tend to value personal qualities over qualifications, so being business savvy, quick-thinking and creative are highly beneficial traits. However, it is advantageous to have a BTEC, Higher National Diploma (HND) or degree in advertising, marketing, statistics, operational research, communication and media studies, business or management. Many agencies may start applicants in a junior role, such as an administrator, and then promote to media buyer from there. Consequently, it is advisable to find work experience in an advertising agency if possible. Sales skills are also important, so any previous work in sales or marketing will help.

Job income

  • Salaries start between £18,000 and £22,000 annually
  • Moderately experienced copywriters can extend this to between £25,000 and £40,000 annually
  • Figures are intended as a guideline only

Benefits and prospects

Media Buyers have promotion opportunities and may advance to roles such as Senior Media Buyers, Media Directors and Media Account Directors, each of which specialise in the purchasing of a specific form of media.


  • Working alongside media planners to identify the target market and how to reach them
  • Maintaining up-to-date industry knowledge into people's media consumer habits and lifestyles
  • Creation and maintenance of relationships with client and media sales companies
  • Negotiation of advertising space costs with media sales companies
  • Preparation of cost and projected audience figures for clients
  • Management of budgets and informing of client regarding campaign expenditure
  • Monitoring of audience figures
  • Analysis of sales data and reporting on campaign effectiveness

Skills and qualities

  • Strong teamwork
  • Good written and oral communication
  • Ability to negotiate
  • Strong presentation skills
  • A logical, analytical mind-set
  • Computer literacy
  • Drive, persistence and stamina
  • Strong planning and organisational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong business acumen
  • Ability to work to a budget