The regulatory body created by the recent merger of NYSE Regulation and NASD Regulation, known for the past five weeks as SIRA, needs a new name. As it turns out, SIRA, which stands for Securities Industry Regulatory Authority, is also an Arabic word that refers to the traditional Muslim biographies of the prophet Mohammad. Oops. The name now being considered, “Financial Industry Regulatory Authority,” or FINRA, was opposed by the FPA, which considered it misleading. What now?
It is quite common for American companies to carefully research how ad campaigns and slogans might play in other cultures. A Google search of “advertising blunders” brings up many commonly heard — but perhaps apocryphal — tales of corporate embarrassment. One that is perhaps best remembered is Pepsi's ad campaign from 1963 to 1967; Pepsi's slogan was, “Come Alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation.” When the campaign hit China, Pepsi's sales dropped off considerably. Why? The translation of the phrase “come alive” allegedly led many Chinese to interpret this as a promise that Pepsi would bring back their dead ancestors. According to urban legend sleuthing site www.snopes.com, whether this is fact or fiction is as yet “undetermined.”