10 Classic Writing Tips That Have Stood the Test of Time

From advertising and marketing guru David Ogilvy

Janice Tovey


Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

In 1982, David Ogilvy was the creative genius behind one of the world’s largest advertising firms. Ogilvy and Mather.

The more I learn about this brilliant man, the more I want to know.

David Ogilvy is perhaps one of the utmost influential individuals in the history of advertising, marketing and copy writing. He is also one of the most quoted. Ogilvy’s ideologies and advertising methods have stood the test of time. 50 years to be exact.

The Netflix production “Mad Men” portrays the character of the advertising genius David Ogilvy. John Hamm plays Don Draper who plays David Ogilvy. Mad Men is the story of a New York advertising company in the 1960’s that focuses on the personal lives of its employees.

David Ogilvy has written and published many best selling books.

And he has done something else.

An unpublished memo of speeches and letters from the “Father of Advertising” himself surfaced many years ago. This memo by David Ogilvy was written specifically for the eyes of his management team.

The Unpublished David Ogilvy

I have discovered so much excellent information in this document. I will summarize to avoid this post from being unnecessarily lengthy.


The better you write, the higher you will go. People who think well, write well.

Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.

Ogilvy goes on to say that once you master the skill of writing, you command a powerful and valuable asset. You attract attention and can potentially influence free will.

David Ogilvy ended this unpublished memo to his management team with these classic 10 tips for better writing:

Tip #1 Read the Roman-Raphaelson book, Writing that Works at least three times. Prolific readers make good writers. Ogilvy goes on to say that the activity of reading should become as natural as breathing and eating. Reading should be an automatic reflex. Carry a book with you everywhere. Books are a necessary…



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.