Advertising copywriters work together with the art direction as a team in the creative department in an advertising agency. They write the words for the text or for the script in an advertisement. They must adhere to a strict code of practice that prohibits them from making wild or untrue statements about the product or service they are advertising, but this still leaves a skilful imagination plenty of room for manoeuvre. The planning of an advertising campaign will normally start with many ideas that are then whittled down to one in a process of discussion between the client, the art department and the copywriters. Work is normally conducted on more than one campaign at a time.
Copywriters must be able to write well, creatively and imaginatively in order to make what are sometimes dull things sound lively and exciting. They must be able to communicate well, as the work involves much consultation with other people: it is also necessary to be able to give and take ideas and criticisms. They must have the ability to combine commercial and creative aspects to achieve a satisfying and successful result.
Promotion prospects are good in larger companies, but promotion by moving between companies is often faster. Copywriters may also become freelance or set up their own advertising agencies.
There are no set academic qualifications for this job, but it is unusual for anyone with less than A-levels or a degree to be taken on. There are many college and university courses on the various aspects of advertising work. Also most advertising agencies run their own training courses, as do many of the professional institutes and organisations.