Copywriter: A Life of Making Ads and Other Mistakes

Chronicles an advertising man's journey from Young Turk to scarred veteran --- with pit stops and side trips along the way.


When Ray Welch and other advertising veterans used to swap war stories about the industry, people would listen and say, "Somebody ought to write a book about that." So Welch did.

Copywriter, A Life of Making Ads and Other Mistakes is based on Welch’s 40-year career as a Boston agency principal, creative director, and voiceover (Tweeter, Milton’s, Pewter Pot) in an era when advertising had a heart and soul and a few drinks after work. Welch uses his wit and humor to tell stories that happened during his advertising career. While sharing these tales, he has gathered 25 different art directors—whom he worked with along the way—to individually design and illustrate each chapter (having instructed them to use "any nutcake idea in your arsenal") giving the book a style all its own.

In this compilation of hysterical and extraordinary stories, Welch tells us about the advertising world as it once was. He takes us from landing his first job to establishing his own agency to his creative team's helicopter shattering the picture window at a Vermont ski resort. Welch has a genuine gift for storytelling, while bringing a sense of humor to some of the more painstaking events in a copywriter's career.


"An honest documentary of the times . . . great read for anyone with a sense of history and a sense of humor." -- Jack Connors, Founder of Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos

"Between the writing and the graphics,reading Copywriter is like curling up with an advertising awards book." -- Greg Farrell, USA Today

"I analyzed every ad Welch ever wrote. Now all today’s generation has to do is buy his damned book." -- Jim Mullen, Mullen Advertising

"Ray Welch is an artist; advertising just happens to be his medium. Touches of Twain, O. Henry and Dave Barry." -- Peter Kadzis, The Boston Phoenix

"You want to see a room full of ad people laugh till they cry? Just read them 'The Killington Pitch'." -- Sally Jackson, Clarke & Company

Not currently in print, but you can find it used, and you may find other books about copywriting at Barnes&Noble.

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