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.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution has its own entry requirements.


What to Study

Degree A BA degree majoring in Languages, Psychology, Sociology or Communication is useful, especially for research. Marketing experience is not expected, but copy-writers should have a clear understanding of the basic elements involved. Any degree, diploma or certificate in Communications or Journalism is recommended.

There is also a two-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

Further Information

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

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a company employing copywriters
  • make an appointment to speak to a copywriter

Programmes by Study Institutions

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