Saturday, April 21, 2007

Campaign closes, Wash Up

Today all presidential campaigning has stopped and some overseas territories are beginning to vote. In lieu of polls or presidential statements, here's a rather funny article from The New York Times.

There is one French company that is tired of free publicity. It is Kärcher, which makes high-pressure washers used to clean dirt, graffiti and wear from building façades. Its products cleaned Mount Rushmore.

But “to Kärcher” has become a French political verb with explosive content. The leading presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, coined the term two years ago when he went to the immigrant suburb of La Courneuve after a boy was killed by a stray bullet, and said he would clean out troublemakers there “with a Kärcher.” Mr. Sarkozy’s opponent on the far-right, Jean-Marie Le Pen, responded during a stop in the suburb of Argenteuil last week. “If some want to Kärcher-ize you, to exclude you, we want to help you get out of these ghettos,” he told people there.

Apparently the Kärcher company itself isn't too pleased with this free publicity, and has sent all 12 of this year's candidates a request to not use their company name. But this infamy doesn't seem to have hurt sales: in 2006 world revenue jumped 13%.

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John said...

Yesterday (Saturday, April 21) I was shopping at the Auchan Supermarket in Velizy (south of Paris). Karcher was doing a demonstration. There was a big stand with all the Karcher models. I thought it was a joke. I guess bad publicity is better than no publicity. Did anyone else see it?

Boz said...

I guess Sarkozy has a marketing job waiting for him if he loses the election. I can't imagine that the owners aren't secretly enjoying this a bit.