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Do you ever visit a website and find the prose nearly unreadable? Or readable, but limp and lacking vitality? You’re not the only one, if a recent VisibleThread review is any indication.

VisibleThread’s website clarity analysis of U.S. high roller national advertisers suggests that major companies are squandering some of the $142 billion they plunk down on marketing language. On the other hand, the review singled out several top firms who earned kudos.

VisibleThread is known for its testing and auditing tech for written content; its software instantly finds brand compliance, poor readability, and language risk issues within documents and entire websites. The company’s clients include major corporations and organizations including Boeing, Intel, Accenture, and Fannie Mae.

The review examined up to 300 pages on each website, analyzing readability, active vs passive language, sentence lengths, word choices, and more.

“Unlike the federal government, where there is a legal benchmark standard for plain language usage, how a company chooses to communicate is independent and subjective,” said Feral McGovern, CEO of VisibleThread. “Marketing teams should recognize that using clear, plain language translates into a return on investment.”

What corporations performed best? Among the advertisers with the overall best scores were Clorox, Dish Network, Expedia, Mattel, and Home Depot.

To view the full list of advertisers — including leaders and losers in several categories — view the full report here.

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