As if Tesco didn’t have enough trouble heading off a backlash against its market dominance, the supermarket retailer has now irked the Plain English Campaign, those guardians of crystal-clear usage of the national tongue.
The chain’s ad campaign for fruit, created by Lowe London, is grammatically incorrect. One execution reads: “Grapes. What’s the difference between ours and our competitors’? Not much really. They’re the same quality as Waitrose. And the same price as Asda”.
Any keen student of English usage will recognise the error – the supermarket names should each bear either the possessive ‘s’ or use a pronoun construction such as “the ones at”.
Plain English Campaign spokesman Dave Smith says: “The grammar is off. The big problem with things like this is it is not setting a very good example. People can read it and when they come to write, they might write in a similar way, thinking it is the way it is done.”
The Diary accepts that this is a minor criticism of an otherwise clever campaign. But as Tesco’s critics might put it, “every little hurts” – especially when it comes to bad grammar.