Advertising words that are strictly “No-No”
In the world of Disney staffers are forbidden to use the three-word phrase “I don’t know”. That must prove a real challenge for Americans on Uncle Walt’s payroll. Yanks always give the impression they know everything! Ask Donald Trump!
In the business of advertising there are similar restrictions. Words that should never appear, written or spoken, in their full form. Obviously, I can’t cite examples as that could be construed as promoting anarchy among marketers.
In the post Ralph Nader era of rising consumer protection laws, those cunning advertising wordsmiths have had to delve deep into their Thesaurus to minimise the risk of prosecution.
Every day superlatives were the first casualties. For a while under Australia’s draconian Trade Practice Regulations advertisers were forced to avoid any unsubstantiated claims of “best” or “finest”.
Lately the scrutiny has been intensified within the category of “Pay Day Loans”. Copywriters have replaced the words “Easy Repayments” with the far more defensible “Simple Payments”.
However, given the first rule of advertising has always been “There are no rules”, those clever little animals known as Copywriters always find a way to obey rule one.
By inference or implication advertising in Australia is awash with “No-Nos”. For years the offending vocabulary has been smothered by sound effects or the traditional bleep. These days, those dastardly writers have thrown caution to the wind as we hear in the cleverly disguised tagline used in the Boating, Camping, Fishing jingle …it’s B C F’n fun.
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