Monday, January 16, 2012

“Fuckin’ Sale” in Osaka, Japan


It’s sale season in most countries…and at The Galerie shop in Osaka, Japan, is “Fvckin’ Sale” time.

Bosses of the Japanese department store were forced to apologize after plastering the entire shop with red signs boasting the common swear-word.

The red signs were meant to emphasize how good the January sale was, as well as being a pun on fukubukuro – or ‘lucky bags’ – relating to the Japanese New Year retail custom of selling off discounted unwanted stock from the previous year in big grab bags.

While most customers were amused with the unfortunate slogan, the pun was not understood by everybody, especially English-speaking shoppers, and the shop’s management received some complains.

Osaka is apparently an ultra-polite city, in the already polite Japan: I’m wondering how the store’s managers must have felt when someone explained them they’ve adorned their store with a potty-mouthed slogan!

I think the marketing team of this Osaka department store should invest in at least one employee that can actually speak English, if they want to use English words around the store.

Someone said that the gaffe may have been inspired by foul-mouthed American chef Ron Silver who has opened a branch of his restaurant in Yokohama in 2009. He advertises his food as “Fvckin’ Fresh & Delicious food” or “Fvckin’ Fresh lemonade” to emphasize the freshness of his products, and justify the higher price compared to the canned or frozen products that are usually served in Japan.

Obviously the average Japanese person must not think that ‘fvckin” means ‘very good’!

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