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Euro-Differentials

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As global-marketing's enthusiasts have remarked, consumer brands are an international currency. But that doesn't mean there's anything rational about the exchange rates. A recent Financial Times article (under the headline 'Whither the cross-border cornflake?') remarked on the fact that prices for the same item vary widely from one European Community country to the next, despite the much-touted move toward a single market. A box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes costs 243% as much in Italy as it does in Britain. A can of Coke costs twice as much in Ireland as in France. Germans pay 27% less than Spaniards for a can of Pedigree Pal dog-food, but 73% more for a packet of Nescafe. One obvious lesson for anyone contemplating pan-European campaigns: A product that's a bargain item in one country may be a pricey luxury brand just over the border.
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