Subject: Voice-over Flubs

Sat Feb 23 06:47:35 EST 2008

I had wondered. The backslash in the Medtronic copy brought me up
short too. But then I recalled some other company a couple of years
back (can't recall what company) whose copy--and I believe it was
advertising on a commercial station, not underwriting on a
noncomm--contained exacly the same "error" and it was handled in
exactly the same way. In that instance, I purposely entered the
backslash, as instructed, where a slash would have been correct, and
wound up at the desired page. Next, I entered the URL with a slash
instead of the errant backslash and was taken to the identical page. I
then decided that the "error" might have been intentional--to sort out
who got to the page by dint of hearing the ad. If so, I'd call the
scheme too clever by half because a lot of Web-savvy listeners would
instinctively convert the backslash to a slash, thus causing
themselves not to be counted in the audit of the ad's effectiveness.

Dan Strassberg (
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eli Polonsky" <>
To: <>
Cc: "Todd Glickman" <>
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2008 2:48 AM
Subject: Re: Subject: Voice-over Flubs

>> > From: Garrett Wollman <>
>> CC:
>> To: Todd Glickman <>
>> Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 12:55:26 -0500
>> Subject: Voice-over Flubs
>> Of course, sometimes it's the copy that's wrong and not
>> the talent.  There's a Medtronic funder running on WBUR
>> now that was clearly written by someone[1] who didn't
>> understand the difference between a slash (that's "/")
>> and a backslash ("\"). I've heard at least two different
>> people read this funder, and I have to believe that they
>> wouldn't both have gotten it wrong, so the inevitable
>> conclusion is that the script has it wrong.
> The script indeed says "backslash", as punctuation marks
> that are to be read as words on the air are spelled out
> phonetically on the scripts.
> Apparently, the Medtronic website has an auto-redirect set
> up so that if someone enters that URL as it is read on the
> air, with a "backslash" (instead of a "slash"), it sends
> their browser to the correct page, which, after all that,
> displays a URL with a "slash" even if the user entered a
> "backslash". I just tried going to that web page as read,
> and that's what happened.
> I don't know whether Medtronic created that auto-redirect
> because the wording of their funder was incorrect, and
> rather than instruct all their affiliates to change it,
> perhaps they decided to make the web page work that way.
> Since the web page DOES work with a "backslash", even if
> via an auto-redirect, that makes the copy as it's being
> currently read on the air to be correct regardless.
> EP

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