Tag Archives: writer

Watch your loaded language

Besides the terrible image quality (my fault — no proper camera nearby), what’s wrong with this ad for a Clarins free gift promotion at Sears?

photo-13.jpg

While it is nice that the promotion allows you to choose one of four different skin-care sets, the phrase “right to choose” is entirely inappropriate here.

Why? It’s loaded language. It’s a phrase that — like it or not — references a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. That thought will enter the mind of almost every person who reads the ad. Perhaps no one told the ad writers at Sears that abortion isn’t an issue they should allude to in their copy.

I’m all for cheeky word play and clever pop-culture referencing. Done well, it can make an ad for a dull product sparkle. But make sure the cultural reference you make is appropriate, unless you’re specifically trying to stir up controversy.