Also known as...
Production Manager; Creative Resources Manager; Project Manager
The role in brief...
The Creative Services Manager oversees 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. They are responsible for the allocation of agency resource, across multiple, often complex, projects at any one time. They ensure that work is delivered on time, to the required level of quality, and within budget.
- Internal: Creative Director and creative teams; Studio Manager, Account management teams; Finance/accounts
- External: Producers; Commercials Directors and Producers; Artists, Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Typographers (and their agents, where necessary).
- 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 Project Managers and Art Buyers.
- 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.
- Supporting Creative Directors with jobs and manage deliverables.
- Holding regular production meetings, holding direct reports accountable for deadlines, while influencing other stakeholders to support successful outcomes.
- Improving the Creative Workflow process; efficient streamlining whilst maintaining the highest quality output.
- Trafficking/ tracking jobs, from beginning to end, by resource, so productivity and profitability can be reviewed and developed.
- Communicating and liaising between Creative Services and other departments.
- Maintaining the Digital Assets, creating and maintaining the online photo library and naming conventions.
- Managing all jobs for release to third parties.
- Co-managing the post production process, with a Producer.
- Involved in recruitment and selection decisions.
- Focused on the personal and professional development of their team.
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 find ways to increase productivity and make profit from projects with poor margins.
- 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 – and sometimes Account 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.