As you know, I’m peeved about the Hanes “Lay Flat Collar Tee” for multiple reasons. But not as peeved as I am about this SpeedSleep ad, which occupies a full page in the July 5 issue of Time and makes the same lay/lie error that Hanes does.
The point of my peeve is the all-caps callout on the right:
KINDA LIKE YOUR FIRST TIME. YOU LAY DOWN AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, IT’S OVER.
Gee whiz, a twofer: bad grammar and bad taste.
Let’s dispense with the grammar first: You don’t lay down; you lie down. But what’s far more offensive here is the sexual innuendo. Note that this is not a direct quotation from a satisfied customer; it’s just some copywriter’s misguided attempt at humor.
Take it from one who knows: chronic insomnia is not a joke. It is especially not a smutty joke. Yes, I am a mite touchy about this subject—but so, I’d wager, is anyone who’s in SpeedSleep’s target market. Guess what? When you don’t sleep through the night, you get cranky.
I read most of SpeedSleep’s web copy and found it to be appropriately straightforward, informative, and reassuring. But not reassuring enough to overcome my aversion to the ad copy. Good night, SpeedSleep. I’ll find another route to pleasant dreams.