The 6th democratic elections in South Africa is upon us and political parties are going all out with advertising to make sure they are visible and that voters remember them on the 8th of May.

One political party that has managed tapture people’s attention (not for good reasons though) was the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC put up a giant billboard in Port Elizabeth, the billboard was meant to read “Let’s grow South Africa together” however, the billboard read,” let’s grow South Africa togher”. This is quite a big deal considering that “let’s grow South Africa together” is ANC’s slogan for the 2019 election campaign.

Image Source: Twitter

Most people have been asking, who to blame when a mistake of this nature occurs. Do you blame the agency or the client, or both parties? before I attempt to answer the question, let’s look at what could have been the cause of the problem. I think the spelling mistake is a result of rush work. Someone wanted to meet the deadline and did not pay attention to the finer details. Or it might have been a complete oversight.

To answer the question of to blame, I’d say both parties are to be blamed. Prior to any artwork installations, the client needs to approve the artwork before the installation whilst the agency has the obligation to deliver quality service and to ensure that their work is free from errors.

On the other hand, the ANC has a bad reputation of having spelling errors on their communications. Below are some of the spelling mistakes the ANC has made in the past.

2017: Dinning

ANC spelling mistake on signage
Source: Facebook

At their 54th National Conference held at the Nasrec Expo Centre, the ANC misspelled dining.

2016: Annivesary

ANC spelling mistake on the cake.
Image Source: The South African

As part of their 104th birthday celebrations in Rustenburg, the ANC bought a huge cake with writings on it. Unfortunately someone did not pick up the spelling mistake of anniversary on the cake.

2016: Arears

Image Source: The South African

It is true that better services are needed in poor areas however, poor spelling is not required.

In conclusion the ANC needs to invest in a proof reader. This
person’s sole job will be ensure that whatever communication caries the ANC logo has the correct spelling.

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Pat Mahlangu

Thokozani Pat Mahlangu is the editor of Pat on Brands and the founder and CEO of Lerato Agency. He is internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg.

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