Amazon Learns Why Placeholder Headlines Are Bad Ideas

Written by Frank Hayes and Evan Schuman
April 4th, 2012

Journalists know—through painful experience—that you should never type in a placeholder headline unless you’re OK with it being accidentally published. The more embarrassing the headline, the more likely it will be to publish. Unfortunately, no ever shared that lesson with Amazon. When displaying an image for a drill bit set, someone wrote in the published product shot: “Some copy that indicates these are helpful instructions.”

To see it, you need to call up the drill set and click on the image to make it larger. In case Amazon fixes it before you have a chance to look, we grabbed this screen capture. [Note: As anticipated, Amazon has now fixed this image.] Not clear if this picture was generated by the manufacturer—Irwin—or if it was done by an Amazon person, but Amazon should check the images before they’re published on its site. Then again, if Sears doesn’t bother, why should Amazon? Note: Irwin’s site has the same image on it, but it looks fine at because the image is too low-resolution to be readable, which is what that kind of dummy copy is designed for. Amazon’s mistake was in ordering up a hi-res version of the image. P.S.: Kudos to Consumer Reports for having initially spotted this boo-boo.


One Comment | Read Amazon Learns Why Placeholder Headlines Are Bad Ideas

  1. FMJohnson Says:

    I visited the Irwin tool set in question on Amazon earlier today and the faulty image was still there.

    Ironically, while reading another blog this afternoon, I was served an Amazon banner ad for the same tool set, and the faulty image is still there.

    This is most likely the supplier’s fault, but as you point out, it’s on suppliers, distributors, and retailers alike to check and ensure the product information they’re using is correct.


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