Careless Newspaper Burns Ad Agency

Earlier today I received a phone call from David Jacobs, senior vice president and director of interactive at The Tombras Group. He called in response to my recent post about a spacing error and typo in a full-page ad announcing the agency had earned top honors at the national 2009 ADDY Awards Show. What he shared was interesting and disturbing.

The ad, which only ran in The Tennessean, was initiated by the paper to congratulate The Tombras Group on its award. According to David, The Tennessean sent the agency a suggested ad that contained typos. The Tombras Group corrected the typos, including the spacing error and misspelling of “mountain,” and sent the revised copy back to the paper.

David and his colleagues were expecting The Tennessean to send a copy of the corrected version back for approval, but the next thing they knew the ad was in the paper’s Sunday edition.

These errors not only reflect poorly on the agency, but also unfairly diminish its achievement. This is a real injustice to The Tombras Group, and I hope The Tennessean will do the right thing by publicly acknowledging its errors.

Of course, if someone from The Tennessean has additional information to share about this or another perspective, I invite that person to either comment on this post or get in touch with me. If someone from the paper does contact me, I’ll report the results here.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

Spell Check Works Wonders for Ad Agency Ads

Yesterday when I opened the main section of our newspaper, The Tennessean, I saw a full-page ad for The Tombras Group touting its national 2009 ADDY Award. I’m guessing this same ad ran in markets other than Nashville as the agency has several locations.

A national ADDY Award certainly is an honor worthy of tooting one’s own horn. However, although there was little copy, the agency managed to run two words together without a space (theSmoky) and misspell Mountain as “Mountian.”

I’ve certainly made my share of typos over the years, but how does it affect your confidence in an agency’s competence when you see something like this in an expensive ad?

There should have been a small army of proof readers going over the copy before the ad was ever released to the paper, and speaking of the paper, how come no one there caught these errors, either?!

Just running spell check would have caught these mistakes, but apparently no one took the time to bother. So, an expensive ad buy is tarnished, as is the reputation of an agency that should have been basking in the limelight for its accomplishment rather than facing embarrassment over careless mistakes that undermine the confidence it is trying to establish.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.