Andrew Curry writes:
Suddenly, ‘sorry’ seems to be the easiest word, at least in London. Quite apart from politicians saying sorry, eventually, about their expenses, we’ve had Marks and Spencers saying sorry for charging more for bigger bras, and (as Andy Stubbings has mentioned here) the London Evening Standard saying sorry in an extensive poster campaign for, well, for pretty much everything.
It’s true that the Standard’s branding is discreet and it’s mostly done by typography, but it seems as if the paper is saying sorry for being complacent, predictable, negative, and out of touch among other things.
As ad campaigns go, it has the merit of getting them talked about (as this post demonstrates) although for this non-reader the Standard was always a smug evening paper which pandered to the prejudices of its core audience in the commuter belt.
Indeed the whole campaign, prompted by the arrival of new Russian owner and new editor, feels like they’ve done some focus groups with lapsed readers and slapped the findings straight on to the billboards. (Which saves the inconvenience of a debrief, I guess).
Will any of these work? I think the M&S apology will – it’s a simple issue with a simple remedy. I’m sceptical about the other two. In the face of their respective declining markets, both paper and politicians will find that saying sorry isn’t enough.