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Crain’s Chicago Business has a follow-up to yesterday’s story about the name Kraft Foods Inc. chose for its global snack spinoff — Mondelez International - which it says it chose “to connote worldwide deliciousness. (Monde means ‘world’ in French, and delez, with a long E in the final syllable, is a play on ‘delish.’)”

Well, Crain’s notes that there may be some global environs where there may be somewhat different reaction to the name.

“Pronounced ‘mohn-dah-LEEZ,’ the name means something else to Russian speakers, say those fluent in its language and slang. We were tipped off to the double entendre by a reader who braced us with a ‘no offense, but this is bad’ before explaining the name sounds like the Russian term for an oral sex act.

“We ran the term by a few other people who speak the Slavic language, and more knew it as the insult than not. The offending term, manda, is on Wikipedia's Russian profanity page.”

And, the story goes on, “It's an unfortunate slip for Kraft, considering its growing presence in Russia with products aimed generally at women. It shows the minefield of potential missteps in applying a single name across a multitude of countries.”
KC's View:
Some branding consultant is having a very bad week. It’s about to get worse.

MNB user Jerry Dinsmore wrote to me yesterday:

As someone told me many years ago, “If you can’t spell it, you can’t sell it”.

MNB user Charles Fallon wrote:

The name “Mondalez” sounds like a certain industrial conglomerate, “Vandelay Industries”.  I am sure you remember that corporate titan: It was the fake company George Constanza pretended to interview with during his stretch of unemployment on Seinfeld.  Maybe Constanza has taken over marketing at Kraft.  At least they didn’t decide to call the snack business, “Kramerica”.

Wish I’d thought of that one.

From another MNB user:

I agree that this (Mondelez) is a bad choice of name.  It always amazes me when companies use a name that can be mispronounced.  Your business name has so much invested in it that an automatic pronunciation should be paramount.  Mondelez may mean something to Kraft, but, I think, not so much to the rest of the world.

Yup. A real bad week for some branding consultant...