Emily Tan
Dec 16, 2013

2013 in review: Top 5 cringe-worthy PR lines

We at Campaign Asia-Pacific love PR folks. Really, we do! But we do wade through a lot of press releases, and some of them, well...have a look.

2013 in review: Top 5 cringe-worthy PR lines

While we're keen to celebrate the great things achieved by the industry this year, sometimes you just gotta point a big spotlight at the so-horrible-they're-kinda-great moments as well.

These are the top five worst lines we've had to read from press releases or emails from communications people this year.

We warn you though, some of these are not just cringe-worthy but downright NSFW. 

Keep an eye out for more Top 5 Lists coming at you this week and in the upcoming December/January issue of Campaign Asia-Pacific

5. The Oversell

While pitching an interview with his client, Sean Dee, CMO of Outrigger, the company’s media-relations chap may have gone a bit overboard. First, he described the chance to speak with Dee as a “fertile opportunity”. When that failed to elicit the appropriate enthusiastic response, he moved on to describe the CMO as a “marketing giant”. Well after that, how could we say no?


4. The hyperbolic never-ending sentence

XM Asia’s bombastic sentences in one of its press releases drove a reader to comment, “I have never seen so many big sounding words crowded together in one Campaign article.” Although we gently pointed out that the piece was a verbatim press release and had nothing to do with our editorial team, we sympathise. Here’s a sample:

XM’s new Behavioral Sciences practice leverages and augments the agency’s existing Consumer Experience lab, which utilizes cutting-edge Tobii eye-tracking technology, along with heuristic techniques and usability metrics, to pinpoint how Asian consumers view, absorb and use information they see on websites, digital ads and traditional media.


3. The Gusher

This effusive line in a release on Ms Gokson’s latest book has us all cringing. It may not be wise to trust a personal-finance expert who advocates buying thousand-dollar cakes.

Suze Orman, America's Top Financial Guru and multi award winner with ten Best NY Times Seller Books, commented, ‘If there were an Oscar, an Emmy or a Grammy for the best lifestyle guru in the world today, then without a doubt - Bonnae Gokson would win all three!’ Suze Orman, Personal Finance Expert and host of The Suze Orman Show.

2. The Cannibals

La Taverna Malaysia has tactfully extended an invite to members of the Hannibal Lector crowd:

We graciously invite you to come savour the experience, with varieties of food, ranging from Spanish Tapas to Italians to Western Grill, Burgers and even Asians to suit your every palate.


1. The Crème de la Crème

And topping our list of cringe-tastic lines is this one from The W Hotel Hong Kong. The writer first made the snobby mistake of using a hoity-toity French term in the press release, then compounded the error by patronising readers and finally dealt a definition death blow by linking the term to a lewd definition in the Urban Dictionary. Here’s the sentence with link, but we warn you, it’s bad. Bad and filthy.

Each year to applaud the crème de la crème in the hospitality industry, Condé Nast Traveler invites its readers to rate the world's most celebrated cities and islands, hotels and resorts, cruise ships and airlines by participating in the Readers’ Choice survey.

We wonder what kind of choices readers made after reading the crème de la crème definition?


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