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The best ad phrases have already been written.

This story appears in the February 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Readers of this column regularly complain that their ads, brochures, sales letters, e-mails or Web sites lack a certain spark they just can't seem to find. I hear the gripe all the time: "I know it's not as strong as it needs to be, but I can't seem to come up with the words."

I empathize with those feelings because I've been there myself. So where do I turn for help when I'm tapped dry of ideas? Very often, to back issues of newsweeklies, in search of stories related to the product or service I'm dealing with. That's because journalists often produce some interesting wordsmithing that can easily be recast into solid advertising headlines.

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