Now for your daily dose of fremdschämen (a sister-word of schadenfreude meaning the vicarious feeling of watching something embarrassing happen to someone else).
Just take a look at Walmart’s latest snafu, a combination failure of what must be an overseas creative team and a lazy or incompetent copy editor, the most appalling copywriting ever created by a multinational, public company.
We constantly caution clients about the risks of going overseas with creative work, but this type of error isn’t just embarrassing, it’s a downright public relations nightmare. Once discovered about six hours ago, the error had cropped up on dozens of high-profile blogs, the Blizzard forums, VentureBeat.com, and it’s become the #1 news post when individuals perform a branded search for “walmart diablo 3″ or any combination of these terms. For a game, scheduled to be the #1 most preordered game in history, set to release in THREE DAYS, on May 15, one wonders how long this description was sitting on the site, since the game has been available to pre-order for about three months now.
How does something like this happen for a major retailer? If they’re anything like Amazon, they probably order their fair share of creative work through freelance sites like Guru and Elance. We have seen a number of postings seeking outsourced creative for product descriptions from Amazon as they launch major new initiatives like Amazon Supply. The eventual result of this is that the copywriter who is hired subcontracting the work to an even cheaper provider.
If you’re using outsourced creative to publish on your behalf without any oversight from you, this could happen to you too. Always have a trusted creative professional, like Smith and Team, edit and revise any work done by outsourced creative before publishing.