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Hi,
We've had a bit of a disagreement about a sentence and the correct grammar for it. I will give you the sentence below, in context, bolding the sentence.
Social Media is shaking up the marketing world. Traditionally, marketers broadcast messages out to consumers and tightly controlled how brands were perceived. The social media landscape has shifted the control of your brand from your marketing team to your customers themselves.
The bolded sentence doesn't sound right to me. I did some research and thought that it was "past perfect" (an action that happened in the past and has been completed) meaning that it would need to read "...marketers have broadcast...".
The argument against me is that we are not speaking in that tense and it is correct. A third party says that it does not read well regardless and should be changed whether it is correct or not.
Could a grammar expert please mediate? Emotion: smile Thanks so much!
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Hi,
We've had a bit of a disagreement about a sentence and the correct grammar for it. I will give you the sentence below, in context, bolding the sentence.
Social Media is shaking up the marketing world. Traditionally, marketers broadcast messages out to consumers and tightly controlled how brands were perceived. The social media landscape has shifted the control of your brand from your marketing team to your customers themselves.

The bolded sentence doesn't sound right to me. I did some research and thought that it was "past perfect" (an action that happened in the past and has been completed) meaning that it would need to read "...marketers have broadcast...".

The argument against me is that we are not speaking in that tense and it is correct. A third party says that it does not read well regardless and should be changed whether it is correct or not.

Could a grammar expert please mediate? Emotion: smile

I don't claim to be a grammar expert, but here are a few comments.

Perhaps your audience will be familiar with the term 'social media', but I'm not. Are they not the same as simply 'the media'? In addition, you need 'the social media'. And 'media' is plural, hence 'are' and not 'is'.

'Have broadcast / have controlled' is called Present Perfect. This tense stresses the that the event in the past has relevance to the present. (That's why the tense is called 'Present Perfect'.) In your case, you seem to want to stress that this was how things were done in the past but that it is not how things should be done now. Your point seems to be that the past is finished and things are different now. For these reasons, I'd stick with Simple Past tense (broadcast / controlled ).

There are two forms of Simple Past for the verb 'broadcast', and even a little bit of debate over which is the correct form. These are 'broadcast' and 'broadcasted'. Because your statement Traditionally, marketers broadcast messages out to consumers would make sense with both Simple Present and Simple Past, I recommend that you say 'broadcasted' to clarify to the reader that you are referring to the past.

I wouldn't say 'out', because the word 'broadcast' itself seems to convey the idea of 'out into the atmosphere, out to the world'.

Best wishes, Clive
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The problem might be the verb "broadcast." The past form can be "broadcasted" or "broadcast". I am American and most often use the first form. In England or other English-speaking places, you might hear the other form.

So here you have a sentence with a compound verb phrase, in simple past tense. Here it is with the first verb changed to its other form of past: Traditionally, marketers broadcasted messages out to consumers and tightly controlled how brands were perceived.

The word broadcast can be a noun, too, so the sentence to me sounds better with the -ed form of the simple past tense. Besides changing the sentence to present perfect tense, another way to write it with less ambiguity is:
Marketers used to broadcast messages out to consumers and tightly control how brands were perceived.