Here is from an article from the Economist magazine:

One drug he talks about is an antidepressant called reboxetine (branded as Edronax by
its makers, Pfizer) that he used to prescribe to his patients.

Pfizer is a drug company. It is a singular noun.
Why is it described as its makers, which is plural?

  • It's common in BrE to refer to companies in the plural. In AmE, the singular is used.
    – TimR
    Jul 26, 2015 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


The style guide of The Economist says:


There is no firm rule about the number of a verb governed by a singular collective noun. It is best to go by the sense--that is, whether the collective noun stands for a single entity or for its constituents.

So it is correct to refer to organizational names either as singular or plural but not both--that is, there should be a constancy in writing.

In this case the author wishes to emphasize the individuals of the company.

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