Coca Cola earned more than 900 million dollars in sales last year so you’d think they could afford to employ a few people who understand the basic rules of English grammar. But it seems that no-one in the “world’s largest beverage company” knows the rules. Or perhaps they don’t think they are important enough to use correctly.
The company is in the midst of a huge promotion campaign for their new drink, Coco-Cola Life. The strap line in the full page newspaper advert proclaims
More choice, less calories
How could this howler have escaped the scrutiny of the myriad of ad agency copywriters, editors, production staff who came up with the concept let alone the company’s marketing team who approved it for publication?. Wasn’t there even one person who thought that line seemed wrong? Or is this a case where the principles of good writing are considered way too old fashioned for a brand appealing to a youth market?
The odd thing is that the body text actually says … ” a third fewer calories” (my italics) and other ads use the line ‘lower calories’ both of which are correct. So how did this aberration get through?
It’s bad enough when local shopkeepers get over enthusiastic and add apostrophes wherever there’s a plural on the horizon but for a world leading company this is unforgivable.
In case anyone wants a quick primer on how to decide whether to use fewer or less, here is a useful reference. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/less-or-fewer