Beanz Meanz Less

BEANZ MEANZ MORE. In my view, Heinz’s remix of its classic slogan typifies many of the problems with modern marketing. First, there’s the madness of anonymising a genuinely memorable, time-tested slogan that includes the brand name. If I could somehow get my prospects chanting ‘For top copy, get Tom copy,’ I wouldn’t see removing the ‘Tom’ as an improvement. Then … Read More

Concision ≠ clarity

‘Be concise’ is one of the most common pieces of advice given to writers. Cut out the fluff. Get to the point. Keep it simple, stupid. It’s kind of reassuring, because it turns editing into a binary, almost mechanical task. Pull out the weeds and leave the flowers. Eliminate the unnecessary, and what remains must be OK. But what is … Read More

Talk about problems, not people

When Angela Rayner called Tory MPs ‘scum’, there was uproar – and the Tories got to play the victim. But when she dialled it back to saying that the Universal Credit cut was a ‘scummy thing to do’, she expressed a sentiment that many people share – including some Tories. The lesson is that if you want to criticise, it’s … Read More

How to Write Clearly is out today!

My new book How to Write Clearly is out today! It’s for anyone who needs to communicate with the written word – in work, education or just everyday life. Whatever you need to write, it will help you make it more colourful, expressive and precise, so you reach your reader and express exactly what you want to say. Writing isn’t … Read More