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BEST PRACTICE: Culture clash - translation and localisation

Consumer marketing is highly culture-sensitive, business marketing is largely culture-neutral. The received wisdom says so, but is it true?

Judging by never-ending debates on the subject among FMCG marketers and their agencies, consumers are still mindful of being treated firstly as French, Italian or British. For advertising to work effectively, it has to reflect the peculiar cultural sensibilities of a country and its culture.

This purist and market-tested view, emphasising the need for localised consumer campaigns, sits uncomfortably with the relentless drive for greater economies of scale in marketing and therefore for global communications solutions. The resulting and unresolved conflict fuels discussion about globalisation.