DisappointmentI have two sisters and a brother. As children, we shared a Scalextric set. I think it was set up in a figure of eight, with a hill at one end. I remember our cat, Sandie, jumping from one loop to another, trying to swat the cars off the track.

I also remember seeing a TV advert (not the one below) that showed a car that flew through the air, with sparks behind it. I thought I’d always win races against my siblings if I had a car that flew, and begged my parents to buy it for me.

“It doesn’t really fly,” they told me. “It’s just for the advert.”

I insisted they buy it for me anyway, just in case it did.

Of course, when the car arrived, it didn’t fly.

I couldn’t believe that advertisers were allowed to mis-represent products like that.

What this means to you

These days, the ASA rules state that advertising should be “legal, decent, honest and truthful”.

Read the ASA codes

As a copywriter, I always tell the truth in marketing and advertising I produce. Of course, I make my clients’ brands, products and services sound good. That’s my job. But I don’t make exaggerated claims. I substantiate everything with evidence. Not just because it’s ethical, but also because that’s more convincing to potential customers.


Online, you might be familiar with ‘clickbait’ headlines. For example: “See the puppy walking along the road… you won’t believe what happens next!” You click the link… and nothing happens. The puppy continues walking along the road.

It’s called ‘clickbait’ because it gets clicks.

Rather than work too hard to think of clickbait headlines yourself, you can use AI tools to generate them. Here are a couple:

These titles are generated by robots, so you will also need to use your brain to choose which headlines make sense for you and your reader.

Remember, disappointment usually lies on the other side of a clickbait headline.

If you want to use a clickbait writing style to get clickthroughs, you need to ensure that the content lives up to the promise in the headline.

My team and I can help with that… without disappointing anyone.



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