Marketing blunders: Writing mistakes can detract from your message

Simple grammar and spelling errors can be found in countless publications, marketing campaigns, and other forms of written communications. 

The example below is a poster for www.poundtaxi.com, which stared me in the face each time I used the bathroom for my two-year stint at Ryerson University. It reads: "If your makeup touch-ups reach this stage... it's time to call a cab." The girl in the image has lipstick smudged all over her face, inviting the viewer to assume that she is not sober and should not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

The only thing I remember from that ad is the grammatical error in the fine print at the bottom, which reads: "...for the same price or less then 411." 

The word "then" is used instead of "than." 

For me, this type of easily avoidable error is like staring at a booger that a four-year-old wiped on a masterpiece while passing through an art gallery with her parents. The poster was great. It was perfect. But then for someone like me, who notices these types of things (yes - even in the fine print), the poster all of a sudden was facepalm-worthy. The "drink responsibly" message was lost on me. (Can you tell I'm an editor?)

Errors like this can detract from your message, damage your credibility, and deter prospective clients. Sometimes simple typographical mistakes can cost you more than your reputation. Some mistakes are worse than others (the example above was minor) but at the end of the day they are completely preventable and I'm here to help you avoid them.

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