Campaign Diary: I’m only a punter but ..

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.

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

it.



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

spaces.



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