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Copywriters use their creative writing skills to persuade a defined target consumer to buy an advertised product.

A copywriter writes advertisements and scripts for TV, film and radio commercials and thinks up ideas for complete advertising campaigns in all media. They gather information about the product or service and its potential customers.

Once the objectives of a particular assignment have been determined, the copy-writer and the art director team up to think out and design a campaign and decide how best the campaign objectives can be achieved by communicating this particular campaign persuasively to the target market. They may consult other advertising agency specialists and the client.

The copywriter also writes all types of promotional or informational booklets, sales promotional materials or merchandising campaign materials.

Satisfying Aspects
- making prospective consumers aware of certain products
- working in a creative atmosphere
- success of advertising campaigns

Demanding aspects
- hard work and sometimes long hours
- working in a team with sometimes difficult, artistic temperaments

A copywriter should:
- be creative and imaginative
- be a clear and logical thinker
- be able to communicate ideas in writing and in speech
- be willing to work with and test new and unusual ideas
- be able to work under deadline pressures
- be willing to accept criticism

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Languages

Degree: A BA degree majoring in Languages, Psychology, Sociology or Communication is useful, especially when it comes to research. Marketing experience is not expected, but copy-writers should have a clear understanding of the basic elements involved. Any degree or other qualification (diploma or a certificate) in Communications or Journalism can be recommended.

There is also a 2-year full-time diploma course in copy-writing (one year full-time for postgraduates) offered by the Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA), as well as various advertising modules which can be completed part-time at one's own pace. There are AAA schools in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Training is also offered by various private advertising schools.

- Advertising agencies
- Advertisers such as department stores
- The media (radio, television, newspapers and magazines)
- Professional and trade organisations

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)      
P O Box 41555
Craighall, 2024
Tel: (011) 781-2006
Fax: (011) 781-1616