In this sample, I’m undertaking a very common copywriting task: explaining something technical, in this case the nature of a cough, in easy to understand terms. Consumer press advertisement for Wellcome.

completed: 2006
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“It’s only a cough.”

(Amazing the rubbish that comes out of some people’s mouths.)

We’ve all said it at one time or another.
“Don’t worry. It’s nothing. It’s only a cough.”

But, the truth is, the humble cough is capable of doing a good deal of damage and for that reason deserves to be treated with considerable respect.

A cough isn’t an illness. It’s a reflex of your body, whose job it is to expel irritants from your windpipe or lungs, and although these irritants can be caused by things like air pollution or cigarette smoke, in a great many cases the irritation will turn out to be caused by a cold or flu virus.

That’s why, even though such a virus won’t always develop into a fully blown cold or flu, a cough will often be the first sign of the onset of these illnesses.


The problem is, that every time you cough you expel a cloud of tiny moisture droplets into the air around you. It’s the mucus contained in these droplets which serves to carry the cold or flu virus. So when somebody else breathes in that air, they import the virus into their body.

This is why, when you have a cough, it’s important to treat it; not only to get yourself some relief, but also to minimise the risk you represent to all those with whom you come into contact.


By using an appropriate treatment you can relieve any cough and, in so doing, cut down the risk of spreading germs. Describe your cough to a pharmacist and take his or her advice.

If you have a wet, chesty cough of the type you get when a cold or flu virus moves onto your chest, you can get relief by using an ‘expectorant’ which loosens the debris and makes it easier to get rid of.

If you have a dry, hacking cough, which can still be a cold or flu cough, you can relieve it with a Linctus which makes the individual coughs less frequent, and also reduces their ferocity.

But choosing the right medicine for your circumstances is the key to overcoming any cough quickly.

So it’s not only whether your cough is ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ that you need to consider.

If you can rest up for a day or so with your cough you can relieve it and, in so doing, help yourself to get some sleep, by choosing yourself an Actifed Expectorant or Linctus.

These medicines contain an ‘anti-histamine’, which means that they’ll ease sore eyes and runny noses as well, but that they may cause some drowsiness.

So, if you have to keep going and tend your cough at the same time, you should choose a Sudafed Expectorant or Linctus, which will deal with your cough every bit as effectively but with no risk of making you drowsy.

Actifed and Sudafed.
Wellcome relief from coughs.

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