Copywriting is bland, uninspired and sucked dry of creativity by clients who get too involved and search engines that don’t understand smart or subtle.
That is just one of the conclusions of the DMA’s first Copywriters’ Census, based on the responses of over 450 copywriters working in direct marketing, digital and ad agencies, as well as in client marketing departments.
The census is part of the wider “Campaign for Great British Copywriting”, launched by the industry body late last year, and created in collaboration with its own agency, An Abundance. The initiative aims to raise awareness of what the DMA sees as declining writing standards in the creative industry today.
Overall, it paints a rather damning – and depressing – picture of the state of copywriting in the UK, with practitioners feeling overworked and undervalued. Most even reckon Britain is no longer home to the best copywriting in the world.
The findings are even more worrying given the rise of content marketing, a fact which has not been lost on either agencies or client marketing departments, where content teams are springing up like mushrooms. And earlier this week, Jupiter predicted the value of the global market will reach $154bn a year by 2019, an increase of nearly 60% on 2014.
One participant in the DMA study blamed the malaise on “the ignorance and illiteracy of marketing people”, while another bemoaned: “Copywriting is vacillating between smug and needy, bland and impenetrable, shouty and forgettable; with the very occasional pocket of genius.” Meanwhile, another respondent was a little more direct, slamming: “Copywriting is shite.”
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