Quotes About Copywriting for Copywriters and Nonprofit Leaders

On what defines good copy

“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”
William Bernbach (1911-1982), American advertising creative director


“Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.”
Shirley Polykoff (1908-1998), American advertising executive

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”
David Ogilvy (1911-1999), known as “The Father of Advertising”

On concepting

"The client will always pick the concept that you like the least, so never present any concepts you don't like"
Robert Fleege, American advertising and design specialist


“Every product has a unique personality and it is your job to find it.”
Joe Sugarman, groundbreaking marketer dubbed “The Mail Order Maverick”

On the process of copywriting

“The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.”
Leo Burnett (1891-1971), American advertising executive known for emphasizing simplicity and product benefits


“An ad is finished only when you no longer can find a single element to remove.”
Robert Fleege, American advertising and design specialist


“You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that’s what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don’t yet understand.”
Rosser Reeves (1910-1984), American advertising executive and television advertising pioneer


"Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read."
Leo Burnett, (1891-1971), American advertising executive known for emphasizing simplicity and product benefits


“The more vivid the picture the words paint in your mind when you read them, the greater the readership, the greater the response.”
Michel Fortin, direct response copywriter and marketing consultant

On the benefits of copywriting

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing, but nobody else does.”
Steuart Henderson Britt, author


“The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.”
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States

On audience

“The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.”
David Ogilvy (1911-1999), known as “The Father of Advertising”


“The most important thing is a hungry market not a brilliant burger.”
Gary Halbert (1938-2007), “The Prince of Print”

On copywriters

“If you can’t turn yourself into a consumer, you probably shouldn’t be in the advertising business at all.”
Leo Burnett (1891-1971), American advertising executive known for emphasizing simplicity and product benefits


“A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them.”
George Gribbin (1907-1981), advertising executive


“I’ve learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.”
Leo Burnett (1891-1971), American advertising executive known for emphasizing simplicity and product benefits


“Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.”
Confucius (551-479 BC), Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher


More words to the wise

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Nobody reads ads. Or do they?

Give me excellence. Not perfection.

A wise word: wisdom for copywriters and nonprofit leaders ...


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