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October 4, 2023

Grant Thornton Probably Didn’t Realize They Were Quoting Nietzsche in Their New Slogan

A bookly tipster sent us the following:

Grant Thornton ads and tattoos aren't the issue — Has anyone else noticed that Grant Thornton's new slogan– An instinct for growth — is totally lifted from Nietzsche's The Anti-Christ: "Life itself appears to me as an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power; whenever the will to power fails there is disaster." Now, the Marketing Braintrust that brought us those creepy teeth ads promising that public accountants "help their clients win" (Say what? Independence?) is too clueless to know about Nietzsche, and their $$ ad agency didn't think to Google the expression (or maybe they did?), but it seems a rather not-so-good message for an accounting firm to be associating themselves with the anti-christ or the will to power. Should anyone be lifting a great thinker's words (and thoughts) without giving the poor guy credit? Perhaps the Chipster is out to lunch? Skipped class the day they went over Nietzsche?
First off, this fresh "Instinct for Growth" slogan was news to us, but lo and behold, it be there (and trademarked!). But does this mean "What Wins" is retired? There's still a website but it does say, "What Wins for Growth" so maybe there are some changes in the works. 
As for this alleged ripping off of Freddy, one has to think that this completely slipped by the literary scholars inside GT's marketing department. After doing some cursory research, it seems that explicit plagiarism requires intent, which would make this a fairly harmless lack of attribution. Worse than the tattoos? Debatable. Sloppy as hell? Yes. Malicious use of someone else's work intended to be passed off as GT marketing genius? Hardly.
But whatever the situation, don't take it personally, GT marketing folks. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, amirite?  

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