I'm not sure I have an agenda to push, regarding swipe. Mostly I'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject.
The reason I'm asking now, several prospects/clients have recently expressed concerns, in such a way, it leads me to believe the presence of swipe in copy used to promote a copywriter's services, is a determining factor in the prospect's buying decision. They don't like it, don't want it and have said so, explicitely. I'm talking about large buyers such as MSoft and smaller buyers too.
They also pointed to certain likable qualities they saw in and felt from reading my copy as a highly weighted reason for initiating contact with me.
They stated they weren't paying premium prices for "cut 'n paste."
I think equating copywriting with swipe puts our profession on par with a clerical position -- masters of the filing cabinet. (My apologies to clericals, for any hurt or discomfort you may experience from my obvious arrogance. I mean no disrespect.).
Swipe files being equal, price leadership, not sales results, becomes your competitive edge.
It's tricky to discuss, because for a truly clear discussion, we'd have to distinguish tolerable levels of swipe from intolerable levels, honesty, the difference between mondo-swipe and swiping a few sentences, or word-for-word swiping vs. swiping concepts and applying them using original copy.
Please, if you're even thinking about quipping, 'why do you think they call it COPYwriting' -- don't.