Creative Services Manager

Also known as...

Production Manager; Producer; Creative Resources Manager; Project Manager; Head or Director of Project Management.

The role in brief...

Creative Services Managers oversee the production and delivery of an advertising agency’s work. They project manage the process of turning creative ideas into tangible outputs across a variety of media. Their ability to manage multiple projects at any one time they ensure that work is delivered on time, to the required level of quality, and within budget.

Working with...

  • Internal: Creative director and creative teams; Account management teams; Finance/accounts.
  • External: Producers; Commercials directors and producers; Artists, designers and their agents e.g. illustrators, photographers, typographers.
  • The Creative Services Manager may report directly to the Creative Director or, in bigger agencies, to a dedicated Creative Services Director. They can also be responsible for a team consisting of Traffic Managers, Junior Producers and Art Buyers.

Responsible for...

  • Scoping out and determining the feasibility of producing final creative work in a variety of media.
  • Sourcing quotes and producing estimates for work to be produced.
  • Negotiating with external suppliers, including agents representing artists.
  • Ensuring the correct licensing of artistic material across all formats and locations within agreed timings.
  • Maintaining quality standards across the production of all creative work.
  • Planning and managing timing schedules that fit the needs of the client brief and budget.
  • Reporting progress of all work and any anticipated deviation from planned timings and costs.

Those who succeed are...

  • Highly organised, able to manage multiple projects at one time.
  • Personable, working effectively with a variety of different people.
  • Strong negotiators and financial controllers.
  • Able to work across a variety of production processes and aware of technological developments in these.
  • Knowledgeable about history and trends in art and design.
  • Flexible and able to adapt quickly to the demands of challenging and unusual projects.

Where they come from, and where they go...

Creative Services Managers come from a variety of backgrounds, including project management roles and other creative services functions such as art buying. There are no pre-requisite educational qualifications but an interest in art and design and a flair for project management are important. In larger agencies there is the possibility of becoming a Creative Services Director, while some may go on to work in more specialist roles at external production companies.