29th April 2022
28th February 2012 - VisitBritain poster proofo a proper PR embarrassment
At Octopus PR, before we send out any of our public relations material, we always get it checked out by our own regular proofreader first.
And it’s not hard to see why we do when you look at the PR humiliation that the UK’s official tourist board has suffered as a result of an embarrassing proofo in one of its campaign posters promoting the country.
As part of a £25 million global marketing campaign in the run-up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics, VisitBritain rolled out a series of posters in the US championing what is ‘Great’ about Great Britain.
But VisitBritain admitted it was forced to promptly withdraw one of the posters, after a member of the public spotted a misspelling of Brecon Beacons in one of the billboard ads on New York’s subway system.
The copy accompanying a picture of the Welsh countryside incorrectly called the area the Breacon Beacons and the tourist who picked up on the error subsequently posted his discovery on social networking site Facebook.
Red faces at the agency that created the posters have held their hands up to the mistake and have corrected it in time for the next run of posters.
Yet this wasn’t enough to subdue the anger expressed by those affected by the error who feel they have been made to look foolish and are concerned that potential American travellers will be Googling Breacon by mistake.
In view of the size of the marketing budget and importance of the campaign, you wouldn’t think it would be too much to expect someone to double-check a few words just before committing the poster to print production.
And if the potential damage that such a mistake could cause weren’t enough of a deterrent then surely the time and costs involved in putting things right surely would prevent such a slapdash approach in the first place.
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