Businessweek Archives

Brand names that don't travel


Most of you probably know about the alleged botched branding of the Chevy Nova in Spanish-speaking countries, where “No va” means “It doesn’t go.” (Actually, when I lived in Latin America, I saw plenty of Novas around, and you have to alter the cadence quite a bit to turn Nova into No va).

Now I have a new example. I just received an invitation from a company called Evite. For English speakers, this might look like what it is: e-invitation. But the first thing some Spanish speakers will see is the formal command for AVOID.


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