October 9, 2012

Writing for short-attention spaniels

We saw this on a bottle of Pantene conditioner:

“MADE IN THE U.S.A. from U.S. and/or imported ingredients.”


Shoppers looking for a warm glow of patriotic ingredient shopping will note the text in all caps, and buy. These are the short-attention spaniels, aka low-information voters.

The strenuous effort required to read aaaaaaall the way to the end of the sentence, plus the critical thinking needed to parse the meaning of “and/or” are so daunting that Pantene can fearlessly use ingredients that are, let’s see, somewhere between 0% and 100% imported.