As a proofreader in the advertising business for more than 30 years, I am astounded at how many ad agencies do not provide this service. Agencies are stewards of your brand and, as such, are charged with safeguarding it at all times. Typos and legal errors scream lack of trust, credibility and professionalism.
- First impressions. We all know what people say about first impressions. You could have a beautiful website or amazing print ad, but a typo can quickly kill the effectiveness of any marketing investment.
- Pricing/legal compliance. When advertising a product that features a price, your agency should always double-check that figure. I once saw a TV commercial in which the sale price was greater than the regular price! But it doesn’t end with prices and misspelled words; there are trademarks, logos, copyrights and legal disclaimers to check. It is incumbent upon your agency to protect your reputation.
- Multiple proofings. A really good agency will proofread a project at all stages: each draft of a document, at layout, after final client approval and at printer-proof stage. Copy may inadvertently get deleted or duplicated, files can be corrupted or an old file gets saved and collected. An error could be missed at all prior stages and be caught on a printer proof.
- Multiple proofers. Just as important as having multiple proofing stages is having backup proofreaders, people with a fresh set of eyes and for those times when the proofreader is out. Also, backup proofers each bring their unique visual perspective; one may notice a font change, another may notice a double space. The more eyes on a project, the better.
Don’t wait until that embarrassing breach of trust or integrity. Protect your brand and help position yourself in the best possible light at every exposure. Ask your agency about their proofing process. If it doesn’t have one, it may be time for a new agency.