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Even worse than using clichés …

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

… Is mixing up your clichés! A couple of years ago I was rewriting some web copy for a client (who shall remain nameless) and couldn’t stop smiling when I got to the existing ‘About us’ page. The company had created a brief biography for each staff member and one man was described as “really coming out of the box to help you”.

It was so endearing, I was tempted to leave it in. But seeing as the company wasn’t an undertakers and didn’t make ventriloquists’ dummies, it didn’t really work.

Have you come across anything unintentionally funny on a website?

jack-in-the-box

[Image courtesy of AkaraKingdoms.]

Happy 2012 (and be nice to your readers)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Happy new year from Good As Gold! My Facebook newsfeed this morning is filled with complaints about sleeping badly, the miserable weather or returning to work (or all three). I hope you’re feeling more positive than the majority of my friends … although I suspect their updates may represent the mood of the nation at large.

One of my 2012 business resolutions is to blog more, so I thought I’d kick off with something that I tucked away this time last year.

Imagine my delight when, on 5 January, I received an unsolicited email newsletter from a leadership management company, with this opening:

Ahhhh the start of another year and all those New Year resolutions have probably already been broken. Back in the same old groove after just 5 days are we? Fancy a change? Fancy something new? Want to try something different? It will take more than a promise to yourself at midnight on New Years Eve after a couple of glasses of shampoo!!

Not only is this badly written, but - worse - it’s patronising, makes assumptions about the reader, and … well, it’s a teeny bit rude. I’d been to the gym that day! I’d eaten my five portions of fruit and veg! I even resisted that enormous slab of Christmas cake at lunchtime.

OK, I’m lying about the cake - but I hope you get my point. Be friendly. Be self-deprecating. Even be personal. Never insult your reader.

Here’s to an Olympic year ahead.

New Year 2012

Advertising claims masterclass: supermarket pricing

Monday, May 18th, 2009

This seminar on Wednesday looks good for anyone who works in brand management, creative development or corporate communications for food companies.

It’s run by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). It will cover:

* Understanding ad regulation, and the roles of advertisers, agencies and media
* Someone’s complained about your ad – what now?  A step-by-step guide to the ASA process
* An overview of the relevant rules in the CAP TV, Radio and Non-Broadcast Codes
* Specific issues surrounding supermarket advertising
* Comparative claims - substantiation, verifiability, references to competitors
* Case studies
* Resources available to make sure your ads comply with the rules.

When? Wednesday 20 May, 8:30am - 11am
Where? London (I guess they’ll be more specific once you book your place!)
How much does it cost? £150 per delegate, with discounts for companies booking four or more places
How do I sign up? Phone 020 7492 2126 or email events@cap.org.uk.

I’m planning to feature useful events for copywriters regularly here, so if you’ve got something lined up, feel free to contact us.

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