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Hall of shame

The shocking truth about copywriters, content marketers and exclamation marks!

Good heavens! Copywriters turn out to be big fat liars! My newsletter yesterday was on the (thorny) subject of exclamation marks. I tested, as I always do, two subject lines: [A] OMG!!! This month’s newsletter!...

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Puzzled by infographics? Calculate their true value here

Ah, infographics, doncha just love ’em? All those pixels – all that effort. So little content. Here is my simple method for calculating the value of the next infographic that crosses your transom. M...

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Annals of really crap email marketing #21,875

Oh, Lordy, where shall we start with this one? The hopeless headline? The passive voice? The grammar meltdown? The exclamation mark? For me it’s not even the two different misspellings of special. Or the...

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The 7 telltale signs you’re reading “zombie copy”

She stands, screaming. Her feet refuse to move. She is rooted to the spot with terror. Slowly, inevitably, the bloody, walking corpse approaches. Arms outstretched, snarling, it reaches for her. It is hungry. A...

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When car salesmen attack – a very funny video

Why you should never cross your star salesman … This is an ad from the days when everything was broadcast live. Oh, and listen out for the camera crew laughing at the end. Thanks to my friend and guru Dra...

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The true meaning of “Baby on Board”

What is it with those little yellow squares new parents stick to their rear windscreens? Baby on board. Cute little person on board. Cheeky monkey on board. At a copywriter’s gathering this morning we got to di...

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A sales blunder so huge it still makes me sweat 25 years later

I was 26, a fledgling marketeer with a research publisher. And I was about to commit a sales crime so horrible my clients would have left the building immediately if they’d known what was coming. Frankfur...

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When Beavis and Butthead wrote an ad…

Last time I checked, we were living in 2013, not 1973. Yet out there in the world of dimwitted company management and their complaisant and complacent copywriters, this sort of crass “advertising” i...

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It’s a pink bra. It’s on an ad for hearing aids. Why? #FAIL

I am at a loss for words at the staggering ineptitude, sexism and downright laziness of this ad for a hearing instrument company. (We will leave, for now, the egregious use of “instrument” for...

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Wireless bras? Er, not sure this is meant for me…

The subject  line said New underwear range – buy 2 get 1 free. Somehow, though, I don’t think I am in the target demographic. To my female readers: where do you stand on the phrase “Lady lumps...

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