Last week Adweek, a leading advertising trade magazine in the US, published an article with the headline ‘Bad Grammar are Bad for Branding’.
The author suggests that standards of English are declining, and quotes some recent examples of corporates having to eat their words – Tesco was forced to apologise for claiming on orange juice cartons that its product was ‘most tastiest’, while Days Inn advertised ‘free wife’ rather than free wifi. Oh dear.
Adweek mulls over the reasons for the increasing number of grammatical slip-ups (schools, the informality of social media, etc) and then moves on to the main point for its readership: poor spelling and grammar affect businesses’ bottom line.
Surveys on consumers’ reactions to typos and other errors in marketing copy consistently show that more than 50 per cent are at the very least ‘annoyed’ by such errors, with some going as far as to say that they would ‘never’ buy from the company responsible for them.
The sooner marketing teams build proofreading into their processes, the better. They will save money and, more importantly, their reputation. The cost of engaging a professional proofreader really is minor compared with the cost and knock-on effects of mistakes.
I’d better phone Tesco and offer our services.