international marketing blunders

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What follows is a collection of some of the more infamous international marketing blunders. Sometimes they are mildly amusing and other times they are laugh out loud funny.


  • International
    Marketing Blunders
  • I love international marketing blunders. Sometimes they are mildly amusing and other times they are laugh out loud funny. What follows is a collection of some of the more infamous.
  • In the late '70s, Wang computer company launched a new motto "Wang Cares which the British branch refused to use
    To British ears the motto sounded like "wankers" (masturbators).
  • Coors translated its catchy slogan, "Turn it loose" into Spanish.
    It read as
    "Suffer from Diarrhea".
  • Seeking the Chinese market, Coca-Cola phonetically translated into "Ke-kou-ke-la
    Depending upon the dialect, that worked out the be
    Bite the wax tadpole
    Female horse stuffed with wax
  • Nissan'sMoco didnt sell so well in Spanish-speaking markets especially the green ones.
    Mocois the Spanish word for mucous (booger).
  • Toyotas MR2 caused a few snickers in France
    MR2 pronounced in French sounds like "merd" or spelled 'merdeux which means "crappy".
  • "Gtzen", a European hardware chain, opened a store in Istanbul.
    "Gt" means "ass" in Turkish. They had to change the name to "Tekzen".
  • Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick curling iron, into Germany.
    Mist" is German slang for manure.
  • Parker pens attempted translate their slogan into Spanish "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you.
    The translation worked out to be "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant"
  • Japan's 2nd largest tourist agency entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours.
    The Kinki Nippon Tourist company quickly changed its name.
  • The Mazda LaputaMinivan was not a success in South America.
    Spanish speakers immediately thought of "puta", the word for prostitute.
    It probably didnt help that ads claimed that "Laputa is designed to deliver maximum utility in a minimum space while providing a smooth, comfortable ride" and "a lightweight, impact-absorbing body. Snicker, snicker.
  • Expanding to Mexico, The Dairy Association's hugely successful "Got Milk?" campaign translated into Spanish
    The translation turned out to mean "Are you lactating?"
  • Pepsis attempt to translate their slogan Come alive with the Pepsi Generation to Chinese
    It worked out to be Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead
  • PowergenItalia, an Italian maker of battery chargers registered the obvious internet domain name.
    Oops was rich with unintended English language associations.
  • Honda introduced their new car "Fitta" into Nordic countries in 2001.
    In Swedish, Norwegian and Danish "fitta" was a vulgar word used to refer to a woman's genitals. In the end they renamed it "Honda Jazz".
  • GEC and Plessseyformed a joint company in France named GPT.
    GPT pronounced in French sounds like Jay-Pay-Tay which is similar Jaipete, which means I have farted.
  • Marketing Puffstissue in Germany did NOT go very well.
    Puff meansbrothel in Germany. Brothel paper plus lotion. Snicker, snicker.
  • Perdue chicken, expanding to the Hispanic market translated the slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken"
    The Spanish came out as "It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
  • To commemorate its initial flights from Hong Kong, United Airlines handed out white carnations to the passengers.
    For many Asians white flowers represent bad luck and even death.
  • Ford Motors launched a car under the name "Pinto" in Brazil
    It turned out that Pinto in Brazil meant "small male sex organ"(like the bean).
  • The Italian mineral water "Traficante"became very popular in Spain's underworld.
    In Spanish it translated as "drug dealer".
  • Chevrolet, disappointed in sales to a key Hispanic demographic investigated why.
    Nova in Spanishis no-va or
    It Wont Go
  • Schwepps, expanding into the Italian market, translated Tonic Water into
    Water from the toilet
  • An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts in Spanish for the Pope's visit. They wanted "I saw the Pope" (el papa)
    They got a bunch of shirts that read "I saw the Potato" (la papa)
  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign
  • In Africa, with a high level of illiteracy, most companies put pictures of what's inside on the label.
    Gerber Baby Food did not sell well.
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