Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I knew I wanted to write, but didn’t think journalism would suit me. A friend who worked at a local ad agency told me their creative director wanted someone to help with long copy. I put my name forward, got the job and, to my surprise, found I could do concepts and short copy too. It worked out rather nicely.
What work are you most proud of?
It’s not my best, but my first ad made me very proud. It was a tube card for the Guernsey Tourist board. There was a nice picture of a beach with the headline From Urban Rush To Island Bliss…Mind the Gap. I saw it when I was visiting friends in London shortly after my 21st birthday. I was as pleased as punch.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
‘Yorkie – It’s Not for Girls’. I say this because it would’ve been fun, and extremely interesting, to hear all the internal debate about this campaign. How many jaws hit the floor when the idea was presented?
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
I like thinking of press ad headlines the best. It’s creative, challenging, and you can do it anywhere with just a pencil and a fag packet. I absolutely revile admin of course.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Words like ‘solutions’. I strongly dislike clichéd dry, stuffy, wordy corporate copy. It’s frustrating when clients expect or demand this kind of language in their corporate literature. Who actually likes reading the stuff? You can sound professional without being dull.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Work hard but don’t be hard on yourself.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Accept that your favourite work isn’t always your best work. Be objective and listen to people more experienced that you. You can’t possibly know it all when you’re starting out.