SPEAKING IN TONGUES The English language, Mike Switzer determined, was thwarting his efforts to get his agency, William Eisner & Associates, into the review for Daewoo Motors’ $10 million Midwest regional account.

Switzer, president of the Hales Corners, Wis., agency, was told “no” by English-speaking Daewoo employees every time he tried to get in to see S.D. Kim, the South Korean executive running the review out of Daewoo’s regional office in Arlington Heights, Ill.
So Switzer decided to go over the head of the domestic staff. He called in a translator to write a letter appealing directly to Kim in his native tongue, thus bypassing the gatekeepers.
“Please forgive my urgent and presumptuous tone,” the letter began, “but time is of the utmost importance.” The only English word in the appeal (shown here) was “Wisconsin,” which apparently doesn’t translate.
Kim got the letter and told Switzer he was impressed with his innovative tactic, but it wasn’t enough to get Eisner in the review.