What's hot:
 

, , ,

Romney campaign caught plagiarizing Obama’s copy

Is the Romney campaign so inept at copywriting that they’re forced to steal words from Obama?

Mitt Romney’s campaign was forced to change 3 blocks of copy on its donations website after sharp-eyed readers spotted word-for-word similarities with the Obama campaign site.

“This was a junior staff confusion that has been updated and resolved,” Romney digital director Zac Moffat told Buzzfeed, which reported the similarities.

Both campaigns are leaning on online marketing to reel in cash, and are using carefully tested emails and website messages to woo donors.

The similarities between Obama’s “Quick Donate” page and Romney’s “Victory Wallet” page were blatant, as you can see below.

Obama: “When you’re logged in to your BarackObama.com account with a saved credit card, just click the Quick Donate button. We’ll charge your saved credit card and you’re done in seconds.”

Romney: “When you’re logged in to your MyMitt account with a saved credit card, just click the Contribute button. We’ll charge your saved credit card and you’re done in seconds.”

Romney revised: “Once you’ve registered for Victory Wallet, whenever you’re logged in to your MyMitt account online, just click the Contribute button and your saved credit card will be charged in seconds.”

* * * *

Obama: “When you save your credit card information to your account, you’ll receive special Quick Donate links in emails from the campaign. Clicking this link processes your donation and charges your saved credit card instantly if you’re logged in. If not, just enter your password. Either way, you’re done in seconds!”

Romney: “When you save your credit card information to your account, you’ll receive special Victory Wallet links in emails from the campaign. Clicking this link processes your donation and charges your saved credit card instantly if you’re logged in. If not, just enter your password. Either way, you’re done in seconds!”

Romney revised: “Once registered for Victory Wallet, you’ll receive special emails from Romney-Ryan. Just click on the link within each email to make a contribution. And if you’re logged in to your account, your securely saved credit card will be charged instantly. If you’re not logged in, just enter your password and you’ll be done in seconds.”

* * * *

Obama: “After you’ve saved your credit card and phone number in your BarackObama.com account, you can use your cell phone to make a donation. All you need to do is text the amount you want to give. If you text us “10”, we’ll charge your saved credit card $10. It’s never been easier to donate.”

Romney: “After you’ve saved your credit card and phone number in your MyMitt account, you can use your cell phone to make a donation. All you need to do is text the amount you want to give. If you text us “10”, we’ll charge your saved credit card $10. It’s never been easier to donate.”

Romney revised: “Once you’ve saved your credit card information and phone number securely to your MyMitt account, you can use your mobile phone to make donations through Victory Wallet. Just text the amount you want to donate — i.e., “10” for $10 — and in seconds, you’re done.”

* * * *

I can think of only two innocent explanations for how this might have happened. It’s possible (though unlikely) that both candidates were using the same off-the-shelf donations software and made only minor edits to the suggested copy. Another distant possibility is that they both copied it from some other site which was identified somewhere as having successful conversion copy.

The more likelihood explanation—that a Romney staffer actually copied what was already on Obama’s site—points to a slapdash copy-and-paste job.

Evidence pointing in this direction? Obama’s quick donations page was apparently live a week before Romney’s.

* * * *

The copy similarities were spotted by Matt Ortega on Twitter and quickly noted by Buzzfeed, Salon, The Washington Post and others.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Copywriting, News & Journalism, Politics

Facebook Conversations