An advertising copywriter writes the slogans, straplines and other words (copy) for adverts which appear on radio and television, digital channels or in posters and brochures.
As an advertising copywriter you would usually work on more than one project at a time. You could be:
studying the product, the target group of consumers and the particular message which the account executive and the client wants
developing creative ideas with colleagues
writing copy which expresses the message clearly, briefly, memorably and persuasively
presenting ideas to the creative team and the client
proofreading the copy carefully
working to a strict deadline and agreed budget
making sure that the work keeps to the Advertising Codes of Practice
working with the art director, photographers, designers and other creative people
keeping up to date with cultural trends.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries are between £20,000 and £25,000 a year for a junior copywriter. With experience, salaries can rise to around £45,000 a year. Senior copywriters can earn up to £80,000 a year and creative directors who have won campaign awards can earn up to £120,000 a year.
You work in an office most of the time, usually within a creative department.
You will work to tight deadlines, and must be willing to work long hours, including evenings and weekends.
You may have to visit clients at their offices, or attend photo or film shoots.
skill in writing good clear copy in a range of styles
a high standard of grammar, punctuation and spelling
an interest in popular culture and trends
excellent communication skills
team working skills
excellent attention to detail
the ability to work to tight deadlines.
You also need:
IT skills for research and writing copy
resilience to cope with stress and criticism
Training is mostly on the job.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising runs a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme for employees of IPA member agencies.
The Publishing Training Centre has relevant distance learning courses.
In a big agency you can get promotion to senior copywriter or creative director.
You could go freelance or open your own agency.
There may be opportunities to work abroad, particularly if you specialise in an industry sector that is big in other countries.
The organisation D&AD runs an annual award competition, New Blood. There are many creative categories in which to enter, including copywriting. Working individually or in a team, you complete a piece of work according to a real-life brief, which is then judged by the company representatives and an international panel of top creative experts. It is open to anyone in full or part time education, or anyone over the age of 18 who is not currently employed (or within the last 6 months) in a creative role. Visit their website for more details.