I’ve been a professional copywriter since 1981.
Ad agency career
Brought up and educated in Manchester, I gained a 1st Class (Hons) Graphic Design degree from the London College of Printing, winning the advertising assignment section of the Design and Art Direction Student Awards in the second year of that scheme’s operation.
I began my career at the Saatchi and Saatchi Edinburgh agency, Hall Advertising, where I won my first creative award for work on the Scottish Health Education Group.
I moved from there to join the London office of TBWA, writing award winning advertising for the COI.
In 1984 I moved to Boase Massimi Pollitt, then widely regarded as the finest creative agency in the world. During five years at the agency I won a string of awards and commendations for my work, rising to the position of Joint Creative Director. I was, flatteringly if absurdly, named by The Observer, alongside politician William Hague, who would go on to be Foreign Secretary, as having ‘Made It At 25’.
I left the agency in 1989 to join the Board of the London office of global agency group DMB&B.
With the birth of my first child, I moved from DMB&B to the private UK agency Burkitt Weinreich Bryant, where I produced award winning work for clients including NEC and Norwich Union.
In 1994, I moved on again, to Still Price Lintas, spending five highly successful years there (and at its successor agency Ammirati Puris Lintas), as a writer and Board Director. During this time, I worked almost exclusively on television, developing award-winning work for the BBC, Sure, Vision Express and Rover Cars.
Again in 1994, to spark the interest of my then young children, I set up Ben and Jack’s Fantastic Homepage, now recognised as one of the UK’s very first personal web homepages.
I left employment behind for good in 1999, setting up an advertising creative consultancy with the former Saatchi Creative Director Adrian Kemsley.
In 2001, noting that no UK marketing-focused copywriting service existed online, I purchased the freelancecopywriter.co.uk domain name and launched my freelance practice. The business was acquired by Big Lessons Limited in 2004.
That same year, I drafted the definitive Freelance Copywriter Terms and Conditions document, now widely used by other copywriters as the basis for their own business terms. The following year, the company launched Great Sales Letters, the UK’s first advance-payment online service for commissioning sales letters.
In 2006, Big Lessons Ltd acquired the web domain copywriting.co.uk as a platform for my ‘all copywriters now’ blog. (This blog, with all its archive, has now been absorbed into my blog on this site.)
In the 18 year lifespan of freelancecopywriter.co.uk, I’ve written for over 700 clients, ranging from hopeful entrepreneurs in bedrooms to giant corporations such as Allianz, Siemens, Thompson Reuters, Harrods Bank, Unilever and Informa.