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Ambitious corporate language

Marks & Sparks has done a good thing. It is removing “best-before” dates on 300 fruit and vegetable lines to tackle food waste.

Fair enough.

Does this move merit the description M&S gave it of “innovative and ambitious”?

Only in corporate land. As a writer at The Times put it, “you’d think it had solved the problem of nuclear fusion”.

The statement announcing the move is mostly perfectly clear and sensible.

It is only when you get to the quote from the Director of Food Technology you begin to worry. M&S is “galvanising our customers to get creative” and to “embrace change”.

And there’s you thinking it sold nice ready meals and old-fashioned shirts.

M&S is far from the worst offender on this stuff. And it is a good company, trying to do the right thing in all sorts of ways.

But the language here just seems overblown.

I think there is a permanent disconnect between how the corporate world see itself –innovative! ambitious! – and how everyone else ‘certainly including hacks’ experiences that world.

It’s like when politicians tell us they are honest people of purpose and integrity who have risen from poverty with a plan to save the world.

Everyone listening, presumably apart from other politicians, is like: erm, that’s you talking about yourself, right?

Press release of the day

Did you know there is an October 31 deadline for the Help to Buy a home deal?

Neither did I and nor did two out of three first-time buyers says this from Fairview.

The scheme technically ends in March 2023, but the October deadline to reserve a home was announced in May.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Are Royal Mail’s industrial relations problems really over?

2) Do the inflation figures suggest it will peak in October as the Bank of England claims?

3) Who has made most money from betting against tech?

4) How are Tesla sales holding up?


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