Top 10 grammar tips: company names – singular or plural?

A company name is a collective noun (describing a group rather than an individual) and in Australian and New Zealand English company names always take a singular verb.

Company A has launched a new campaign.

Company B is working on a new product.

That is straightforward. Problems arise when writers want to start the next sentence with a pronoun.

It is targeting small businesses.

Although this is grammatically correct, it sounds clumsy because we know the sentence refers to people, not the company itself and it  is now becoming more acceptable to switch to the plural.

They are targeting small business.

Sometimes you can avoid this problem by changing the wording.

Company A has launched a new campaign targeting small business.
Company A has launched a new campaign. This campaign targets small business.
Company A has launched a new campaign. Small businesses are the main target.

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