Guest post by Jackie Ryan, Managing VP of Global Editing, Research Strategy and Operations, Gartner
Occasionally, vendors ask why Gartner has rendered their company or product names differently in our published research than the way they appear on their website. As we’ve all seen, company and product names, spellings and even punctuation can be quite creative — deploying backward letters, italics or bold on certain characters, multi-colored text colors, and more. We do not reproduce these because we need to present Gartner research impartially, especially given that we often analyze multiple vendors or products in one document – like our Magic Quadrants. Having one vendor or product stand out over another could be misinterpreted. Thus, we do what most publishers do — we follow the guidance in the Associated Press Stylebook (see “company names”).
Here are the highlights of our style regarding company and product names:
Company names should be presented in full on first reference, according to the initial presentation on the “About the Company” page of the vendor’s website. When that page gives contradictory guidance on a company’s name, always go by what is used in the text blurb about the company, rather than the company name as presented in logos, addresses and elsewhere.
Generally, follow the spelling and capitalization preferred by the company: eBay. But capitalize the first letter if it begins a sentence.
Do NOT use all-capital-letter names unless the letters are individually pronounced: BMW. Others should be uppercase and lowercase. Ikea, not IKEA; USA Today, not USA TODAY.
Do NOT use symbols such as exclamation points, plus signs or asterisks that form contrived spellings that might distract or confuse a reader. Use Yahoo, not Yahoo!; Toys R Us, not Toys “R” Us; E-Trade, not E*Trade.
Use an ampersand only if it is part of the company’s formal name, but not otherwise in place of “and.”
Use “the” lowercase unless it is part of the company’s formal name.