Do copywriters need a code of conduct?

About a month ago I posted this leading question on LinkedIn:

The Copywriter’s Code of Conduct.

As far as I can tell, this DOES NOT EXIST.

Journalists and editors have a code that they can subscribe to.

Copywriters are, comparatively, operating in a Wild West of standards and practices.

I’ve been tinkering with the idea of developing some kind of code of conduct / code of practice for a while.

The explosion of AI makes such a code even more relevant and useful.

After all, our clients and stakeholders probably want to know where our words stop and the robot’s begin (or if AI is involved at all).

What do you think?

Would a Copywriter Code of Conduct / Code of Practice be a useful thing to have?

Would it be a way to reassure clients, employers and stakeholders that we adhere to some shared guidelines?

Or is it unnecessary baggage in the freewheeling world of copywriting?


I’m reposting it here to ensure that more people see this post and have a chance to respond.

Responses on LinkedIn were broadly positive and encouraging.

The consensus seems to be that a code of conduct would be a useful asset for copywriters.

Concerns / questions about the initiative included:

  • how the scheme will be administered (i.e. is it a ProCopywriters project or something broader)
  • what the code covers
  • how a code is enforced

What do you think?

Would you like to see a code of conduct for copywriters?

Are there any specific behaviours, actions or problems that you would like a code to address?

Do you foresee any risks of creating a code of conduct?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

You can also contribute more detailed input by completing this short survey:

Copywriter Code survey


Cover photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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