What is an Advertising Sales Representative?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The advertising sales representative is a particular type of salesperson that tries to generate client demand through advertising. That advertising may take any number of forms, including print, television, and the internet. While some advertising sales reps may choose to work in one sector of advertising sales, others choose to work with several different forms of advertising, often creating campaigns that incorporate Internet advertising with more conventional print and television elements.

Advertising sales representatives use advertising campaigns, such as print sales flyers, to generate business.
Advertising sales representatives use advertising campaigns, such as print sales flyers, to generate business.

Like all sales professionals, the advertising sales representative seeks to convince clients that the resources he or she can bring to the advertising task are the ideal fit for the needs of the customer. He or she will accomplish this goal by choosing to demonstrate the additional or unique service options that are offered in comparison to leading competitors for the business. This will require the sales representative to know the competition very well. However, an ethical advertising sales representative will never make negative comments about a competitor when seeking to secure new business. Instead, this sales professional will note that he or she can offer certain strategies and services that cannot be found with other companies and proceed to articulate how those assets will make a huge difference for the client.

Newspapers employ sales representatives to sell classified ads.
Newspapers employ sales representatives to sell classified ads.

Someone in this position will take the time to research a potential client in advance. Understanding the public relations campaigns that the customer has used in the past, and the impact those campaigns generated will help the representative come up with ideas to pitch to the potential client. Knowing what has worked in the past will help the representative to develop ideas that carry the client to the next level work. This approach works best when the representative understands the core business of the customer, the type of advertising the client has successfully used in the past, and what sectors of the consumer base the company wants to reach today.

An advertising sales representative may work as part of a company, or as an independent contractor. When the representative is employed with a firm, there is usually a base salary with a percentage based commission program in effect. For independent advertising representatives, it is more common for income to be based on a percentage of sales that are generated from the campaign.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Subway11- I agree. I listen to the radio all of the time. I spend so much time in my car that I probably listen to the radio more than I actually watch television.

I also find radio advertisement slogans fun and appealing. I could always remember them no matter what.

My favorite is “Safe light repair, safe light replace.” I also like the Sleep Number bed commercial. It really sounds like a great product.


Good article, I just wanted to add that Radio advertising is also an effective advertising media outlet. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, 93% of Americans listen to the radio. Radio advertising also costs less than other media advertisements.

Advertising sales representatives can lure advertisers based on the actual demographics of the listening audience.

For example, an advertising representative might be able to sell advertisements during a popular syndicated radio show such as Rush Limbaugh’s show which reports an audience of twenty million listeners. Advertisers are willing to pay a premium for advertisements during that show.

The advertising representative must understand the market that their customer is intending to attract and be able to provide demographic statistics to prove it.

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