News

Plain English campaign news articles

One-woman’s shout

Plain English Campaign is honoured to be listed in a new publication due for release on May 5 2011 with Ellie Levenson’s second book, ‘50 campaigns to shout about’.

To celebrate this recognition, we are producing more stocks of our popular range of sticker messages from our ‘Jargon – you can stick it’ campaign so that anyone supporting clear public information can take action.

Read more: One-woman’s shout

Protecting your pot - the plain English guide to pensions

Ending retirement company gobbledygook – Annuity Direct team up with Plain English Campaign to produce a pensions guide which everyone can understand (not just the actuaries).

Finally, a pensions guide ordinary people will understand.

  • Joint operation to promote ‘ordinary language to ordinary people’.
  • Free guide covers vital areas of retirement planning.
  • Easy-to-download PDF format.

In a move designed to change the face of UK pensions' and retirement literature, specialist retirement-advice service Annuity Direct have joined forces with Plain English Campaign. Together they have produced an easy-to-follow guide to the most important retirement questions.

Read more: Protecting your pot - the plain English guide to pensions

Switched on to plain English

Plain English Campaign are proud to announce that uSwitch.com is the first comparison website to achieve our Internet Crystal Mark. The Internet Crystal Mark is recognised worldwide as a standard that a website has clear language, and is accessible and easy to use.

Plain English Campaign have been fighting for over 30 years against the use of unnecessary jargon and gobbledygook in communications. With a growing trend for public information to be presented through globally accessible online services, using clear language becomes even more important.

Read more: Switched on to plain English

Clear information gives confidence and control

‘Self-help’ and ‘do-it-yourself’ kits can be ideal, particularly in times when money is tight. But any kit is only effective if the result is reliable.

The recent Which? comparison of self-test kits demonstrates the varying quality and clarity of instructions and information. Without access to a health-care professional, the user is left with only the information in front of them. The experts who provided feedback on the kits said that the main problems lay with missing and unclear information. What isn’t said is often as important as what is said. And what is said needs to be clear and understandable the first time it is read.

Read more: Clear information gives confidence and control

Plain English at Halfords

Plain English Campaign welcomes a rare opportunity to applaud the motoring industry today when Halfords Autocentres launch their plain English ‘Glossary of garage speak'. This is the first guide of its kind in the motor industry to receive a Crystal Mark from Plain English Campaign.

The guide is a direct result of research carried out for the independent garage network. The research showed a high level of confusion linked to mechanical jargon and highlighted the need for simple and unpatronising language when dealing with motorists.

Read more: Plain English at Halfords

Gobbledygook on the BBC

On Monday 7 March at 7.30pm, BBC Inside Out East Midlands will be full of gobbledygook and jargon as BBC presenter John Holmes travels to Derbyshire for an update on the story of Plain English Campaign.

Read more: Gobbledygook on the BBC

Big steps to overcome the small print

Plain English Campaign are applauding the consumer contracts team at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the regulatory body for traders throughout the UK. The OFT's year-long study of unclear terms and conditions in consumer contracts covered a range of customer complaints about things such as contracts for gym membership and the small print involved in buying football clubs’ season tickets.

The findings from this year-long study revealed some new information, such as consumers being put off by the length of long-winded contracts. However, it confirmed our well-known fears about the unfairness of small print.

Read more: Big steps to overcome the small print

Power points for comparison

Plain English Campaign continue to fight for clearer information in energy bills. We were pleased to support the comparison website, www.uswitch.com, when they asked for our review of yearly energy statements. These statements are a regulatory requirement, laid down by Ofgem, for all energy providers to provide an individual statement to their customers that shows the customer's consumption and costs over the past 12 months. But the results of the uSwitch public survey show that some energy companies have been slow to meet this regulation, and those that are meeting it could do with improving the clarity of the statements.

Read more: Power points for comparison

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