Well, it’s Europe. Where they have, of course, a far more liberal attitude towards sex in advertising. More specifically, sexual innuendo, often featuring naked or nearly-naked women, sells perhaps more there than here.
This ad, propped precariously outside our apartment building (where the disco beat reigns until 4 AM, when the bongo drums take its place until about 8, when the guys with the blowers come out to clean the beach), is a fine example:
Blo Mor, I would say, speaks for itself as a brand name. I have to assume that the company that selected it knew exactly what it meant and in fact chose it for its meaning. The question posed, “riesci a reggerlo,” translates as “can you stand it?” Misogyny and a mark that’s vulgar in English? Benvenuti!
In the event that I don’t have time when I’m in Sicily, I thought I’d have something teed up to celebrate my bloggiversary – five years, can you believe it?
This item, which I found in US Weekly, is one of the finest examples of everything Americans have done to ruin Italian cuisine:
The only thing I can say in DiGiorno’s defense here? Very nice job coming up with a good generic term for the product – “pizza dipping strips” – instead of creating some cutesy name like Strippios, or Dippios, or Strippy Dippies … yeah, it’s just an abomination, plain and simple.
In case you missed it, there was big news in France a few months ago: the government officially ordered the honorific “Mademoiselle” to be removed as an option from official forms. The origin of the term was effectively “damsel,” which indicated a woman’s status as unmarried, as “Miss” does in comparison to “Mrs.” here. Madame, it appears, will function as “Ms.” does here, to identify adult women regardless of age or marital status. Some in France may balk at the change; I sent an email to a hotel clerk last summer and addressed the woman as Madame Untel (untel being French for “so-and-so”) – but her reply was signed Mademoiselle Untel. Old habits die hard, I guess.
And it seems that old habits die hard in Italy as well, as this new fragrance from Salvatore Ferragamo suggests:
Random internet evidence leads me to conclude that “Signora” is now appropriate in Italian for use with women over the age of 18, regardless of marital status, so I am not sure if this fragrance is designed for a younger market, or if it’s trying to evoke memories of the purity of youth. (I feel icky even typing that.) I’m just not sure it’s either modern or appropriately retro. Ferragamo’s own copy only confuses things further:
Signorina, the new fragrance from Salvatore Ferragamo is the celebration of chic girls with a sophisticated, subtly cheeky and fresh scent signature.
An Italian description I found was pretty much in the same spirit:
Signorina è il profumo giusto per le giovani donne contemporanee, creative e anche un po’ audaci.
Loosely, that’s “Signorina is the right perfume for young women who are contemporary, creative and a bit daring.” Wow … or not.
I’m studying Italian right now in advance of a summer excursion, so while I will happily pronounce “Signorina” with my best Sophia Loren accent, I nonetheless register my disapproval of the name as anything but contemporary.