What’s On

#sowhoknew: OMG! Stop it with the acronyms in business

Let’s BID for you. At the EOD or at least by COB, IMHO (FWIW) I need someone to TED WIIFM when we use so much jargon in business. If you can LMK? Oh and KISS.

WTF? Did you get any of that? You receiving what I’m broadcasting? Catching what I’m pitching?

Well if you are unfamiliar with the some of the business based acronyms used in the above, let me decipher the hieroglyphics for you (ICYMI):

“Let’s break it down for you. At the end of the day or at least close of business, in my humble opinion (for what it’s worth) I need someone to tell me / explain to me / describe to me what’s in it for me when we use so much jargon in business. If you can let me know? Oh and keep it simple, stupid”

There is a school of thought that we shorten lengthy expressions or terminology to save time and cut down on unnecessary verbiage. But if that’s at the expense of understanding (which is certainly true for me) then how is that going to be more efficient? My theory is that it’s all about power and control. People wield these shorthands as weapons with the intent to bamboozle their compatriots. Along with business idioms, acronyms have become the scourge of the boardroom banter and our emails are riddled with them (TAL at the VT below):

Whether you are an FTE or a PTE, a CEO or an SME, ITO or WFH, working in IT or HR you will see these atrocious acronyms every day. And do they really add clarity? I would wager that for most people they simply make understanding more difficult.

Every industry also has their own unique set of acronyms to add even more levels of complexity. Given the game I’m in my emails are often littered with CPM’s, CPT’s, B2B’s, B2C’s, CPC’s, CTR’s, DSP’s, DMP’s, CTA’s, CRM’s, PPC’s, KPI’s, RFI’s, RFP’s, SEO’s, SWOT’s, UGC’s and countless other jumbles of letters that probably mean very little to people outside of media. Is the same true for the sector that you work within? Any examples?

And of course, our social lives have been infected by the same disease. LMAO? Not really. I’d rather live without it. After all, YOLO.

So where does it all end? At what stage does our business language become a mixture of business bullsh!t expressions mixed in with abbreviated jargon?

“Let’s ladder that up with the the CIO when he is OTP and we will produce a POC by the EOW whilst keeping an eye on the ROI”
And with that I’m ending this rant before it becomes TLTR and you tell me it was TLDR (although I’m guessing if you got this far, you did).



Steve Blakeman

Steve Blakeman is the Global Media Lead - Nestlé at Mindshare. Previously, he was the Managing Director - Global Accounts, OMD Europe. Previously, he was the CEO, Asia Pacific – OMD. Prior to that, he was Global Chief Integration Strategy Officer (Asia Pacific) for IPG Mediabrands (Initiative & Universal McCann). He has also had stints as worked as Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group owned media agency, PHD where he successfully launched their second office in the UK. He began his career at JWT and has over two decades of experience in advertising, media and marketing communications.