How to become an ECD in advertising

The path to becoming the creative boss of an ad agency can take many forms. Here our ad correspondent Ben Kay discusses the various ways you might gain entry to the club

The position of creative boss of an agency (these days that could be ECD, CCO, creative partner, or in one case, chief executive creative director, so I’m just going to use ‘ECD’ to denote any and all of those roles) is an interesting one. You get to hire (yay!), you have to fire (boo!), you might have some fascinating chats about shadow P&Ls and Q3 targets, but you also get the final-ish say about the work that leaves your agency.

Sounds like a lot of fun, eh?

Well, it has its ups and downs, but it is the pinnacle of the creative side of the ad industry, with the biggest salary and the most power, so let’s have a look at how you might get there.