Maybe it’s time Kraft Foods think about a way to incorporate “from Russia with love” as a new slogan. The company announced on Wednesday that it has proposed to call its global snack company Mondelez International Inc., and while some journalists debated the choice and merits of the proposal, AdAge’s Kate MacArthur did some digging and found that in Russia, “mohn-dah-LEEZ” (the word’s pronunciation, according to the press release from Kraft) can sound similar to a term used for oral sex.
Not to offend anyone’s tender sensibilities by discussing something sexual, but I think any reasonable person with a sense of humor would have to be snickering in their PBR over Kraft Food’s self-induced marketing nightmare.
Companies rebrand all the time and for all manner of reasons, right? Rebranding is a significant step in a company’s history, though. Names matter. If you’re going to look at changing your name, and with it your public image, it would seem to be reasonable to expect that at least a minimum of due diligence be done beforehand.
A good question to begin that due diligence with might be, “Does our proposed new name in any shape, manner, or form, literally or euphemistically describe or mean a sex act or anything with even a remotely sexual connotation or possibly offensive?”
In Kraft’s case, they managed to pick a name that in Russian is a euphemism for a sex act performed on a woman, and it’s considered “very dirty.”
Of course, the good news for Kraft is that they’ll no doubt sell a LOT of snack food to horny Russian males. I’m not sure what that will do for the company’s stock price, though.