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Another one bites the grass

Another one bites the grass by Simon AnholtWhen it comes to books on international branding and marketing, there are lots and lots of choices. As anybody who has ever listened to one of my audio conferences knows, one that I like a lot is Another one bites the grass: Making sense of international advertising by Simon Anholt.

Though written a few years ago, the book is still highly relevant today. It is chockfull with great examples of international marketing blunders and illustrates why translations of advertising should be avoided at all costs.

The author laughs at advice like "use simple English" or "always make sure you have a native speaker check the translation". Rather, he says:

"Translating advertising copy is like painting the tip of an iceberg and hoping the whole thing will turn red: what makes copy work is not the words themselves, but subtle combinations of those words ... These are precisely the subtleties which translation fails to convey."

And:
"Translating [advertising] copy is like boiling lettuce. No matter how carefully you do it, the result is always disappointing."

Marketers in drug and device companies may or may not agree with all of his points but the book is a terrific read!

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