Clever, correct and careful copywriting is important. If you don’t get it right, people might DIE!

NHSHow confusing!

“If you have not yet received your invitation letter and you are 47 to 73 years of age and you have not been screened within the last three years or if you are over 73 please contact the office on the number below and arrange your 3 yearly screening.”

How much better!

If you are aged 47-73, you are entitled to free NHS breast-screening every 3 years.

  • Have you been screened within the last 3 years?
  • Have you received an invitation letter?

If your answer to both these questions is ‘no’, or you are aged over 73, please phone 020 3299 1964 to arrange your screening.


Heading: Calling all Bromley women aged 47-73

Body copy: You are entitled to free breast-screening every 3 years. If you haven’t been screened within the past 3 years and haven’t received an invitation recently, please call 020 3299 1964.

What’s wrong with the original and how would you rewrite it? Here are some of the answers I received on social media:

Some comments from Facebook:

  • Ben: Should be at least three short sentences rather than one tangled long one. Also, main point comes at the end. Could be redone as a nice clear bulleted list.
  • Adrian: I fell into a coma waiting for a full stop. Or a semi colon. Heck – I’d even have settled for a comma.
  • Ian: I’m confused by the over 73 bit. It implies that if you are over 73 you should be screened regardless of when your last screening was.
  • Guy: Why use three sentences when you can cram it all into one.

Some comments from LinkedIn:

  • Mitch: It was written by a marketing intern?
  • Charlton: Someone has stolen the comma key from the poster’s keyboard.
  • Chris: Commas would help, but you also need to be adept in boolean logic to avoid whatever they’re screening for.
  • Paul: “Over 46? Make sure you’re getting screened every three years. Please respond to our invite or tell us you didn’t get one!”
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