Recently, we called out an error in a TV ad and online catalog for Hanes t-shirts. The mistake we pointed out is “… a collar that lays flat…” in the voice over, and “Lay Flat Collar” in the product description.
Please see our post: Just wait’ll we get our grammar on you …
We fired off an email to the copywriter (at the ad agency) who wrote the spot for Hanes. We thought you might like to be privy to the response we received from the ad’s author:
“I appreciate the catch. But I have to say that we knew what we were doing when we sent it out the door. The product had already been named. And, honestly, grammar doesn’t mean much in advertising. What sounds better is more important. And the ‘Lie-Flat Collar’ doesn’t sound too hot.”
Now, this is too bad. Even though we have mentioned the incorrect use of lay in our Lost causes? post, it doesn’t mean we’re going to let the subject lie.
We disagree that grammar doesn’t mean much in advertising. We have more faith in consumers than to expect them to tolerate poor grammar. And, while we do agree that what sounds better is important … for all of our fans who think good grammar is “hot,” we disagree with the statement that “… the ‘Lie-Flat Collar’ doesn’t sound too hot.”
We think it’s a shame that there are those who promote poor grammar and perpetuate the nerve-grating sounds of these language rules broken, especially in advertising to a public audience.
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