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Advice and help for would be copywriters

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We Might Even Employ A Squared-up Blank Space...

We might even employ a squared-up blank space for the candidate's reasons. Taking things a step further we could, using similar pictures, go for: WORKING FOR FERRCONI IN THE LAKE DISTRICT COULD BE THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS YOU KNOW IT The body copy, here, would hammer home the joys of a job in the Lake District, and how much more civilized it is to live there. Lots of variations on the above theme spring instantly to mind. But is it the right tack? I feel that it certainly isn't wrong, particularly if the copy grabs the open-air aspect by the throat.

For the purposes of this exercise, however, I am going to assume that Ferrconi won't let us major on the environment. They want ads, they say, which tell their hi-tech story in no uncertain terms; and in a way which will amuse young graduates. Here, off the cuff, are several. Don't be put off by the length of the headlines, by the way.

Long headlines, like body copy, will be read if they are worth reading. There's modesty for you. (I sincerely hope you're beavering away on this, too.) It seems to me that in a recruitment exercise of this kind, the company will receive any number of applications from people rather more fanciful than qualified. This being so, and simply to save much wasted interview time, what about including a technical test for the prospective candidates right in the ad? A FREE GOLF/FISHING/GLIDING WEEKEND IN THE LAKE DISTRICT FOR THE FIRST CORRECT SOLUTION TO THIS PCB DESIGN PROBLEM I suggest we try one more - simply for the hell of it.

Car dealers all over the country are telling us what a rough time they are having of it lately. Imports, they say, are flooding the market. Unit prices are far too high - and British manufacturers refuse to allow them to do deals. And the money just isn't around for investment in new vehicles.

More perturbingly, used car sales have dropped through the floor. Our client, whom we shall call Bob Pride, owns a string of well-established garages in a large town; but he is one among many and his 'regulars' are casting around for higher trade-in offers. In the past, he has tried all of the gimmicks in an attempt to make sales - cheese-and-wine open nights, free in-car stereos, free petrol. Trouble is, his competitors are, or have been, on the same ineffective roundabout. Aside from advising Mr Pride to sell up and retire gracefully to Rio, what can we do? Well, the curtain-raiser must be to ensure that he loses no more of his traditional customers.

Second, we should try to endow him with an image which sets him apart from the rest. That is, as someone who has been around a long time, who values his reputation, and who won't wittingly let people down. The latter proposal seems more a sop to Cerberus than a genuine effort to make sales. Not so.

We all agree that standard motor-cars are the most unreliable and most carelessly-assembled items of machinery since the invention of the wheel - don't we? (If you don't, then we must simply put it down to my bad luck in these automotive things.) Realizing this, the buying public will clearly feel much happier knowing they have a friend in need. But is he honest? Is he reliable? The best answer - and the only answer we are likely to get, if I know anything about it is that he has a large servicing set-up, with wall-to-wall equipment and components, plus a team of time-served mechanics. Make of it what you will. Here's my initial thought: WE'VE ALL DONE BUSINESS WITH INEFFICIENT GARAGES. BUT NOT MUCH - AND NOT FOR LONG Body copy would travel along the lines of: Our livelihood depends upon your custom.

We want to keep you happy in every way we know how. Which is why we give you an after-sales service above and beyond the call of duty. Not bad; but really not strong enough. On analysis, it strikes me as a 'so what', or a 'yeah, we've heard it all before' kind of ad.

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