Typos and spelling errors occur commonly, especially in newspapers and magazines. Indeed, they’re one of the hazards of the job. Sometimes the pressure to meet a deadline means that spellchecking goes by the wayside. However, it’s not often that one of the biggest confectionary companies on the planet makes a spelling blunder that even a seven-year old child can spot. But that’s just what happened recently when eagle-eyed schoolgirl, Eva Ball noticed a blatant spelling error on a tube of Smarties.
As seven year-old Eva was tucking into her favourite treat, she noticed a typo on the packaging. A question on the tube read as: ‘What T might you look at the stars trough?’ The youngster noticed that an ‘h’ was missing and pointed it out to her mother.
“She came running in saying “I’ve found a spelling mistake,” said her mum, Allison.
“I thought she couldn’t be right but when I looked she was. It should be “through” – they’ve missed the “h” out. Not a good advert for spelling on children’s sweets”
“Eva loves her Smarties and she also loves to read. She is fantastic at it and reads above her age level. She reads all kinds of packaging including things like the tomato sauce bottle. She was overjoyed when she found it. She has still got the tube and won’t eat the Smarties.”
“She will read anything”, enthused Eva’s father, David. “When she was really little she was reading the adverts on the backs of buses in the car. Over Christmas she got a set of animal stories to read and she’d finished them by January. She’s a little bookworm”
Eva also wrote a letter to Nestle, suggesting that they correct the error. She received a quick response which included a £2 voucher, although the letter was written in a corporate style. They also made another case for using a website spell checker by managing to spell her mother’s name wrong in the letter.
Her mother added: “They sent a very corporate letter back…I thought they might have taken a bit more time and written it more for a seven-year-old.”
A Nestle spokesman conceded that it was “…a good spot from Eva” and that the tube had been corrected late last year, meaning that updated packs should be in most stores now.
He went on to add that “Smarties may have all the answers but not necessarily the right questions.”
According to David, Eva’s talent has already been recognised by her school
“The school have put her on the register for the gifted and talented so it’s been recognised that she’s very talented in that area. She’s very clever.’
There are of course numerous ways to avoid embarrassing mistakes like these. Online spell checker tools such as Typosaurus, as well as other lesser spell checker websites, can prove very useful at avoiding such errors. They may also save marketers millions on product recalls. It’s a shame that Nestle didn’t take advantage of such tools!