A Better “Amercia”?

An image taken by the "With Mitt" app.

When you clicked on this article, you probably noticed that the word “America” is misspelled in the headline.  This was done in an official Mitt Romney campaign app just last week.  The mistake comes, ironically, just as the Scripps National Spelling Bee is drawing to a close.

The new app, named “With Mitt”, allows users to take a picture and add an overlay that features a Mitt Romney campaign slogan, one of which happened to be “A better Amercia”.

This mistake was quickly capitalized on by the internet, a Tumbler blog was even created that features the logo “A better Amercia” overlaid over various images.  The gaffe has become so popular on the internet that Google no longer attempts to correct your spelling when you search “Amercia” rather than “America”.  The misspelling has gone from 0.5 in Google’s search volume index (used to measure search traffic) to nearly 10.0 in the past few days.

An update was promptly released for the app with the simple description of “bug fixes.”  The response was quick, but not public. The Romney campaign has not authorized any staffers to speak about the error on the record.  However, the campaign has paid for a “promoted tweet” on twitter that shows up when users search for “amercia.”  The promoted Tweet was about Solyndra; it did not address the misspelling.

While the error may have done some short term damage to the Romney campaign’s public image, the entire incident has added up to free publicity, as many of Romney’s supporters may have been unaware of the app had it been properly edited.   As the saying goes: “Any publicity is good publicity.”