Famous Marketing Screw Ups
1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish where
it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."
2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the
following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an
3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into
German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not
too many people had use for the "manure stick."
4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they
used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful
Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in
Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of
what's inside, since most people can't read.
5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the
name of a notorious porno magazine.
6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the
Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I
saw the Pope" (el papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato"
7. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated
into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in
8. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "it takes a strong man to
make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it
takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as
"Ke-kou-ke-la", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female
horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then
researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent
"ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth."
10. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its
ads were supposed to have read, "it won't leak in your pocket
and embarrass you." Instead, the company thought that the
word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the
ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you