Mar 232009

BMW bannerBMW should learn a lesson from Turner Broadcasting’s recent gaffe. Two month’s ago, I blogged about the incorrect English used in the prominently displayed message “More Movie, Less Commercials” on all TBS and TNT home movies. This message has since been removed.

Well, it seems BMW (a German company with a huge presence in the U.S. to know better) needs to retake the same 7th grade grammar lesson. Featured in the top banner on the BMW main home page is the following phrase “Less emissions. More driving pleasure.” Of course “Less” is incorrect in this context and should be replaced by “Fewer” or “Lower.”

Some might say you really can’t count emissions, so “Less” is appropriate. To those, I would argue that they are using the term “count” too literally. We can certainly measure the number of grams of CO2 a car emits, just as we can measure the number of calories we eat. Surely you don’t wish to argue that “Less Calories” is grammatically correct…

I just don’t get how a brand that is so refined and meticulous with its engineering, styling and design can be so sloppy in its marketing. Without a doubt, this one of the most heavily trafficked pages on – the first page people visit when coming to the website – and therefore the company’s first opportunity to make an impression. (Actually it shouldn’t be among the most frequented pages, as I’d expect BMW would cookie me and automatically redirect me to the USA site for future visits, especially if I’m connecting via a U.S. IP address, but we’ll leave that gripe for another day.)