THE corporate world is a palace of lies so glaringly obvious that they go almost unnoticed. Here are a few of the most frequent:
We value your privacy
Every cookie consent form on every website invariably says ‘we value your privacy’. And by ‘value’, they mean ‘we are accepting cash offers for every little bit of information we have managed to extract from your visit to our site to find out how tall Amy Adams is.’
It’s highly unlikely…
A phrase used when something has gone badly wrong. Previously it was ‘highly unlikely’ that a bored Russian hacker following photocopied instructions would break through our shoddy firewall in fire minutes. Now it’s ‘highly unlikely’ that your account details and passwords are for sale on the dark web. It’s all so unlikely.
We’re working hard towards…
One that’s used when a business is still doing the bad thing but wants credit for not doing it regardless. ‘We’re working hard towards 100 per cent customer satisfaction’ means we’re currently at about five per cent customer satisfaction, and Emma from customer service just threw her Pot Noodle up the wall.
Customer welfare is our number one priority
So you’re investing every penny of your annual profits in the welfare of your customers, yeah? No. Profits are your number one priority. You know it; we know it. Be refreshingly honest and say so.
The environment is our number one priority
Hang on, customer welfare was your number one priority a minute ago. Make your mind up. Companies love pretending to be green while not even trying. ‘We’re working hard towards all our packaging to be fully recyclable’…by August 2070, when we’re all up to our knees in seawater because the ice caps melted in July 2045.
Repeat if required
That miracle spray that gets bird shit off your car in 60 seconds seems to suggest a repeat application is highly rare, though possibly necessary if a bird that’s had a particularly hefty meal has evacuated on your freshly-washed car. In fact the spray does nothing and good old-fashioned elbow grease does the work in five seconds, leaving you 55 seconds to throw the spray in the bin.