ATTN: or FAO: (for the attention of) in business letter?


New Member
I have a question how to include two recipients in a business letter, using ATTN: (or maybe FAO) in a situation like this below [1].

Mr. John Smith, Director
ATTN: Ms. Marilyn Monroe
ABC Corporation
1234 XYZ Street
Tokyo, Japan 12345

Is this odd? Will this look better if I change ATTN: to FAO:?
Or, is there a better way or the perfect way?

Or, you don't understand my question? (I'm having trouble expressing this...)
Let me explain my situation.
I, actually, want Marilyn to read the letter. The director is put just to maintain business courtesy. and this is a rule that I must adhere to, as my company's rule.
For more clarity, could you see [2] below? What I am actually intending will be well understood by you if you could see [2]. I wanto to write like [2], but I want to avoid [2] because I am afraid it will seem rude to the director. This letter is a quite official one.
Ms. Marilyn Monroe
cc: Mr. John Smith, Director
(address omitted for clear view for this thread)

I hope you understand my question!
Somebody! please help!
  • It it's addressed to John Smith, then it's for Smith. It can't be to the attention of anyone else. "Attn:" is used when you address a letter to a company, but want it to be directed (if possible) to a specific person at that company:

    IBM Corporation
    Attn: V. Rometty, CEO

    I would use option 2. It's not rude.
    I would leave off the "attn" entirely and address it like this:

    Mr. John Smith, Director
    Ms. Marilyn Monroe, Public relations
    ABC Corporation
    1234 XYZ Street
    Tokyo, Japan 12345


    Mr. John Smith
    Ms. Marilyn Monroe
    ABC Corporation
    1234 XYZ Street
    Tokyo, Japan 12345

    or (most likely)

    John Smith
    Marilyn Monroe
    ABC Corporation
    1234 XYZ Street
    Tokyo, Japan 12345

    As a matter of politeness it is my opinion that if you include the title for one recipient, then you should include the titles of all the recipients.

    In business the marital status of the woman is irrelevant and I think the "Ms" should be omitted.

    Note that in traditionally in newspaper reportage Mr. Xyz or Mrs. Xyz were only used to reference dead people. So if you were trained in journalism in the 1970s or earlier the Mr. or Mrs. or Ms can be a bit jarring.
    Thank you!
    It's great to know option 2 is not rude.

    Packard, thank you for educating me.
    I won't forget this about gender indication.
    (I think I have clarified gender several times before. OK...shame.)

    I'm going to pick up one of the choices you two gave me.

    Thanks again! Both of you, Egmont and Packard.