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Advertising Copywriter Profile

Advertising Copywriters Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Advertising Copywriters. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Advertising Copywriters
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Advertising Copywriters Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Advertising Copywriters work in a creative partnership with an art director to conceive, develop and produce effective advertisements. While the art director deals mainly with the visual images it is the copywriter who provides the verbal or written aspect. This involves writing 'copy', ie coming up with the original catch phrases, slogans and straplines. It also includes writing all the wording in any type of advertising such as:

• posters;
• press;
• leaflets;
• brochures;
• radio or television scripts.

Copywriters are often involved in the production process, which can include casting actors for voiceovers and dealing with production companies and directors or typographers, designers and printers.

What does the role encounter?

A copywriters work dependent upon the type of agency may include:

• meeting with the account management team to discuss client requirements and background to the product;
• working in a close-knit creative partnership with an art director to generate workable concepts and ideas;
• writing clear, persuasive and original copy;
• submitting ideas and discussing progress with the creative director;
• amending and revising campaigns according to feedback from the creative director or clients;
• working on several campaigns at once, under pressure and to tight deadlines;
• carefully proofreading copy to check spelling and grammar;
• overseeing campaigns through the production stage to final completion;
• casting actors for TV and radio work, listening to voice tapes;
• liaising with production companies, photographers, typographers, designers and printers;
• keeping up to date with popular culture and trends;
• advising 'would be' creatives and reviewing portfolios.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Starting salaries vary greatly depending on the size of agency and geographical location and range from £8,000 – £15,000 in the regions to £12,000 - £18,000 in London.
• It is common to do an unpaid work placement as a way in to creative work, where you might receive only travel expenses.
• Typical salaries at age 40 for someone working as a creative director is again dependent upon the size of the agency and could be anything from £40,000 - £250,000, or more in the top London agencies.

What type of hours will I have to work?

This is not a nine to five job and flexibility is very important due to the strict deadlines. This will mean sometimes having to work late into the night, at weekends and taking work home. The majority of the work is office based but, depending on the type of campaign, copywriters might get to go out on TV shoots, radio recordings and spend time casting or in editing suites. They may also visit clients or leave the office to conduct research.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• the ability to write good, clear, imaginative copy in a variety of styles with good spelling and grammar;
• aptitude for teamwork and the ability to brainstorm ideas and work in a close partnership;
• the ability to work to strict deadlines and a willingness to work long hours and take work home if necessary;
• thick skin, as many ideas are rejected and you have to be able to take criticism of your work on a daily basis. It is important not to be too 'precious' about your ideas as you will have to adapt them to suit the demands of others;
• an interest in popular culture and awareness of new fashions, trends and styles.

The most common entry route into advertising copywriting is by compiling a good 'book', taking it around the agencies and doing several work experience placements. This applies to both those with or without a relevant course background and also for those approaching agencies as a creative team, or on their own.

What type of training will I receive?

Training is practical and on the job. However, some agencies run in-house courses on topics such as brand awareness, understanding briefs, how to present your work to clients, as well as more general courses on time management etc. The British Design and Art Direction (D&AD) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) also run courses for experienced creatives. The D&AD runs a continuing professional development (CPD) programme called 'Workout'. This includes a programme of practical workshops, comprising 26 different modules, in areas such as:

• survival skills;
• craft skills;
• inspirational sessions;
• managerial skills.

Advertising is a dynamic area and it is vital to keep up to date with new developments. This can often be achieved through training and personal development. However, reputation and recognition are more important for career progression than attending courses. Recognition within the industry comes from award ceremonies.

Career Progression:

Once you have managed to gain entry and been hired, you would start as a junior copywriter and then progress to what is known as 'middleweight' and from there to senior writer or 'heavyweight'. Anyone more interested in management would look to move into a creative director role.

Depending upon the size of the agency you can usually work up from junior to middleweight in the same agency, but to progress your career further you would normally have to move. It is possible to work up to creative director level within ten years.

What Sort Of Industries Have A Requirement For This Type Of Job?

The majority of copywriters work for advertising agencies. There are different types of agency traditionally specialising in either 'above-the-line' (ATL) or 'below-the-line' (BTL) work. The main focus of the ATL agency is with building brands using TV, radio, posters, press etc. BTL agencies practise direct marketing (DM) and promotional marketing which tends to be more print-based, eg direct mail, point of purchase, on pack, leaflets, competitions or offers, but these days also use TV, press, telephone and the internet. Because clients are increasingly putting more of their money into BTL (as it is closer to sale and more accountable) many agencies have become integrated, offering both ATL and BTL, and this is known as 'through-the-line' (TTL).

It may also be possible to work for the client directly, eg catalogue publishing, or for digital and new media companies writing copy for websites. Newspapers often employ copywriters to write ads as do radio stations to write jingles.

Are Their Related Types Of Jobs?

Yes. This list is not exhaustive but here are some similar and associated types of role:

Advertising account executive
Advertising account planner
Advertising art director
Magazine journalist
Marketing executive
Newspaper journalist
Public relations account executive
Public relations officer
Technical author

What trade magazines or publications are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Advertisers Annual - The Blue Book.
Careers in Marketing.
Creative Review.
Design and Art Directors Annual.
Design Week.
The Drum.
Getting into Advertising.
The Guardian.
The Independent.
Advertising, Marketing and PR.
Marketing Week.
Media Week.

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found by visiting any of the following bodies and organisations the addresses and their respective websites are:

The Advertising Association (AA)
Abford House, 15 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1NJ
Tel: 020 7828 2771

British Design and Art Direction (D&AD)
9 Graphite Square, Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5EE
Tel: 020 7840 1111

British Interactive Media Association (BIMA)
Briarlea House, Southend Road, South Green, Billericay, Essex CM11 2PR
Tel: 01277 658107

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427500

The Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation (CAM)
Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427120

The Creative Circle
22 Poland Street, London W1F 8QQ
Tel: 020 7734 9334

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)
44 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QS
Tel: 020 7235 7020

Kendall Tarrant UK
56-60 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JL
Tel: 020 7907 4444

91a Berwick Street, Soho, London W1F 0NE
Tel: 020 7292 7330

Other Useful Advertising Copywriters Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Advertising Copywriters job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Advertising Copywriters Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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