Copywriters are assassins. They murder the English language and are
lavishly rewarded for it. I suspect they commit their crimes
unknowingly, but ignorance of the law is no defence.
The most obvious example is the current One-2-One campaign: ’Who would
you most like to have a One-2-One with?’ If this does not offend you,
you must be in advertising, PR or marketing. What is most striking about
this howler is not the fact that both agency and client are
grammatically challenged, what is truly upsetting is that it
demonstrates a laziness which verges on arrogance. It’s as if the
copywriter couldn’t be bothered to write a slogan that conveyed the same
message without breaching basic rules of English.
So much copy is flawed that punters become inured to it. We see a poster
for an Australian film, Mr Reliable, with the new word ’seige’ in
The siege is, apparently, crucial to the plot yet nobody bothered to
find out how it should be spelled. Is this quality control? Are there no
proof-readers? Poor grammar and even worse spelling are endemic to your
industry and yet you continue to present yourselves as experts in the
art of communication.
Perhaps you believe that it doesn’t matter, that style is more important
than substance. If you do - and who can say for sure that you are
wrong? - then we face a bleak future of advertising where the image is
omnipotent and the copy is simply there to fill up the inconvenient