Confused.com takes a stand against jargon as part of its ‘year of confusion’ campaign

As the Plain English Campaign celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, Confused.com has announced its exclusive title sponsorship of the Plain English Awards 2019.

Confused.com’s customer research has revealed that for many Brits, 2019 is felt to be the most confusing year yet. So, there’s no better time to partner with the Plain English Campaign to celebrate its 40th year recognising the culprits misusing the English language.

Each year, the Plain English Campaign recognises the best and worst examples of use of the English language. Some of the award categories highlight organisations and individuals who have genuinely made an effort to present themselves in a clear and concise way. Meanwhile, other categories put the spotlight on those who have confused the British public.

The infamous ‘Foot in Mouth’ award highlights a baffling comment by a public figure. Previous winners include two-time victor Boris Johnson’s unsinkable “Brexit means Brexit and we are going to make a titanic success of it”, Donald Rumsfeld for his infamous “known knowns” speech and football commentator Jamie Redknapp for taking the word ‘literally’ quite literally; “These balls now…they literally explode off your feet”.

This year, as part of the Confused.com partnership, some extra tongue-in-cheek categories will be added alongside the ‘Foot in Mouth’ award. These include the ‘#fail’ award, given for a Social Media faux-pas and the ‘Phrase of the Year’ which will tip its hat to an inexplicable saying that we can’t seem to escape.

To mark the 40th year of the campaign, the Confused.com Plain English Awards will also give a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to an individual for their long-term commitment to speaking gobbledygook. This award will go to a previous winner who has outdone themselves yet again in 2019 for more nonsense. The shortlist includes Russell Brand (winner in 2014), Boris Johnson (who won previously in 2004 and 2016) and Donald Trump (2015’s award winner).

The Confused.com Plain English Awards will be supported with an integrated approach across multiple channels, including broadcast, PR and social. Winners will be announced early December 2019.

Discussing the campaign, Sam Day, chief marketing officer at Confused.com, said:

“Confused.com’s stance on clearing up confusion and the Plain English Campaign’s fight for crystal-clear communications couldn’t be more alligned.

“Our customer research shows that 2019 is the ‘year of confusion’. We live in confusing times and this isn’t helped by people in the public eye and organisations – who should know better – spouting nonsense and adding to the noise.

“By using the Plain English Awards to poke fun at come of the culprits and celebrate those who’ve said it like it is, we want to call for better use of English language and make the world a little less confusing.”

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder-director of the Plain English Campaign, said: “We’re delighted to form this partnership with Confused.com. We share many of the same values and I’m sure together we can form a powerful, positive alliance. At a time of some national division and bafflement, it’s fabulous that two like-minded organisations can come together for clarity against confusion. It’s an exciting opportunity that we were very keen to accept and we look forward to seeing how things develop.”

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