Breck Carter
Last modified: July 19, 1996
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The fRiDaY File, for July 19

( Go back, forward )




When Braniff translated a slogan

touting its upholstery

"Fly in Leather"

it came out in Spanish as

"Fly Naked."


When Coors put its slogan

"Turn It Loose"

into Spanish it was read as

"Suffer From Diarrhea."


Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line

"It takes a tough man to make a

tender chicken"

sounds much more interesting in


"It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a

chicken affectionate."


When Vicks first introduced its

cough drops on the German market,

they were chagrined to learn that

the German pronunciation of

"v" is "f"

which in German is the guttural equivalent of

"sexual penetration."


Not to be outdone Puffs tissues

tried to introduce its product only

to learn that


in German is a colloquial term for a



The Chevy Nova never sold well in

Spanish speaking countries.

"No Va"

means "It Does Not Go" in Spanish.


When Pepsi started marketing its

products in China they translated

their slogan

"Pepsi Brings You Back to Life"

pretty literally.

The slogan in Chinese really meant

"Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave."


When Coca-Cola first shipped to

China they named the product

something that when pronounced

sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only

problem was that the characters

used meant

"Bite The Wax Tadpole."

They later changed to a set of characters

that mean

"Happiness In The Mouth."


Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick" curling

iron into Germany only to find out that


is slang for



When Gerber first started selling baby

food in Africa, they used the same packaging

as here in the USA - with the cute


on the label.

They later discovered that in

Africa companies routinely put

pictures on the label of what actually is


the container since most people can not read.


Breck Carter can be reached by phone at (416) 763-5200 or via email at