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A global brand needs to be able to cross language as well as trade barriers. “Coca-Cola” is internationally recognised, and the “McDonald’s” name is more famous than Jesus Christ, we are told. But up-and-coming US beer Miller Genuine Draft has fallen victim to its own conceit. In signing a brewing and distribution deal with Japanese brewer Asahi, Miller has had to change the name of the beer to Miller Special because, apparently, the Japanese have no equivalent word for “genuine” in their language.

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