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Copy School Q&A with Chris Taylor, Creative Director at Shabbadu 

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Copy School, supported by NewsMediaWorks, is designed to encourage the best quality copywriting across all channels and engages some of Australia’s leading advertising creative directors and copywriters, as well as news media executives, to pass on their knowledge and experience. 

Copy School Melbourne will raise funds for Front Yard Youth Service, a non-profit that works with young people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, disengaged or requiring support.  

This year’s Melbourne convenor is Chris Taylor, Creative Director at Shabbadu, a creative agency specialising in freelance copywriting and brand development 

Chris was kind enough to sit down and answer some of our burning Copy School questions: 


Why do you support Copy School? 

I support Copy School primarily because I believe in giving back. I would encourage anyone who has benefitted from the wisdom, mentorship and tutelage of those within the industry while they were either trying to break in or find their way as a junior to do the same. However, it would be disingenuous of me to say this was the only reason why I support Copy School. Personally, I feel like I get a lot out of it too. As a lecturer, it forces you to actually consider your methods and evaluate what, with experience, you often do instinctively. This year, as convenor for Melbourne, it’s been a great opportunity to reinforce the messages each lecturer delivers to make sure the important things hit home.

Do you believe there is currently enough focus on copy from clients and agencies? 

That’s difficult to answer as it depends on which lens you look through. I mean, I haven’t read a great long copy ad in a while. But I’ve sat through minutes long videos for products I’ll never purchase simply because they were engaging. So, I’d probably say there’s probably about as much focus on copy now as there has been throughout this decade. There’s always a new format, a new trend or a new platform – but they all need ideas and the words all need crafting

What would your number one piece of advice be for writing great copy? 

No one has time for your bullshit – neither the reader, the viewer, the listener, nor your colleagues. 

If you had to pick one ad that you had worked on, that you were most proud of, what would it be and why? 

My ads are like my children – I don’t technically have a favourite and, if I did, you’d get a different answer depending on the time and day. Can I be a total dag and say it’s the first thing I ever had printed? It was a Myer/Grace Bros catalogue called ‘Cool, Casual Collections’. I still have half a dozen copies of it tucked away somewhere at home.  

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