Advertising: If the Inamuk Fits . . .

If the Inamuk Fits . . .

To English-speaking TV viewers, the phrase might have meant anything: "Mayieu kuna. Ijooki inamuk sapukin." So when a recent TV commercial for Nike sneakers featured a traditionally dressed Samburu tribesman in Kenya uttering those words in Maa, the local tongue, an English subtitle was thoughtfully provided: "Just do it," which is the slogan from Nike's current campaign.

But the Kenyan's comments were not quite as advertised. According to an anthropologist at the University of Cincinnati, who saw the spot when it aired on NBC, the new pitchman was actually saying, "I don't want these. Give me big shoes." Nike contends that...

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