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Copywriting epic fails

Examples of when copywriting goes bad. Mainly things that I have been sent or seen around the place. Behold ye and despair.

31 Pins

Um, do you want to tell them or shall I?

I find this a very unclear sign. Where else might I think this escalator goes to (given that I'm on the first floor)? And how does this relate to where I can (may has a ring of 'are permitted to' that I don't like very much) shop? What they mean is that the second floor is staff only. Why don't they just say that?

In principle this is good advice. In practice it goes on the epic fails board due to the typos in point 6. Point 11 - check for typos...

Is it dangerous? Should I stay out? A delightfully ambiguous warning sign.

Such a small typo. Such potentially disastrous consequences.

Another example of the perils of incorrect punctuation. Apparently only disabled students are entitled to the discounted rate at the Tower of London.

This isn't really a copywriting fail in the strictest sense, but it does illustrate what can happen if you lose concentration for just a moment and mishear something when you're writing.

Ok, ok, I'm not entering. There must be something pretty bad on the other side of that door.

This is wrong on so many levels.

I like what they're trying to do here, I'm just not sure this is the best way to do it.

Perhaps if you're offended by the poor standard of punctuation on offer here you're too old as well.

So here we see why punctuation is important. My dining companion ordered this, expecting to get both chicken livers and pork and mushroom pate. Imagine his disappointment when he discovered that the dish was chicken liver, pork and mushroom pate. No separate chicken livers. Some semi colons in this list would have made that clearer.

Sounds great! How do I find out about it if I can't scan QR codes...?

This sign gives completely the wrong impression about the kind of books for sale in this bin. Trust me - what you think of when you see 'adult books' is not what they were thinking of when they wrote the sign. Unless of course 'Meals in Moments' is a completely different kind of book than I was assuming it is...

This has to be real, doesn't it? I want so much for this to be real.

Leaving aside the issue of the exclamation marks for a moment, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use a gendered word like 'waitress' in your recruitment advertising these days.

Religious Poster Commits Horrifying Sins Against Proper Apostrophe Usage | Happy Place

A very unfortunate typo. You can never proof something too many times.

Get a Brain Morans. Wise words indeed.

Whilst this isn't exactly a copywriting error, it does beautifully illustrate the importance of punctuation in determining the meaning of your words.

It's the teeny tiny typos which can be so tricky to spot...

What were they thinking? Wrong tone, poorly written, and putting the idea of fake parts into customers' heads. Oh dear.

It's not just about the content of your ad, it's also about the context.

Mitt Romney's genius campaign app. Happens to the best of us.

Why use three words to say "bin your rubbish" when a hundred and three will do?