Calling All Solodovs

}New billboards in Moscow mysteriously announcing “Solodov, I want you!” have gotten people talking, but not everyone is amused.

The 70 ads are teasers for an upcoming Solodov beer, but a number of people with the surname Solodov, an uncommon name, are confused—even hostile. “Where did such a moronic advertisement come from? It’s tasteless. I don’t know who wants me there,” one Alexander Solodov told the Moscow Times. “It’s indecent. Couldn’t they write in brackets that it’s beer?” added Dmitry Solodov.

City officials, too, consider the ads suggestive, and have told the agency, NFQ, to change “I want you!” to “I am waiting for you!”

Yuri Kupin, PR director at NFQ in Moscow, is overjoyed. ” ‘Solod’ in Russian is ‘malt!’ We did a word twist!” he tells Shoptalk. “An adequate [translation for ‘Solodov’] could be ‘Malty’ or ‘O’Malty.’ ”

Kupin admits the signs are provocative, but he says NFQ got only two phone calls—one from a man Kupin says was “positively surprised by the attention of female colleagues,” and one from a policeman whose wife accused him of cheating on her. “Your rich lover shamelessly posted the sign straight before our windows!” Kupin says, re-enacting the scene. “Maybe this cop had affairs before and gave many reasons for a scandal for his wife.”