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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Vodkas all round!

    Vodka ad goes down badly with Russian women
    26 February 2006
    By TONY WALL

    A liquor company is offering a Russian bride as first prize in a vodka promotion, a gimmick Russian women in New Zealand say is offensive. The competition offers $8000 or a return trip to Moscow with spending money, to join a "find-a-bride" tour. The promotional material includes an image of a blonde scrubbing a floor, and the words: "Let me tell you, those Russian women are awesome, they don't care if you watch cricket on Valentine's Day, hell they don't even care if you're short and fat. It's almost too good to be true."

    But statistics show that Russian women are not flocking to look after fat, lazy Kiwi husbands. In the last financial year, only 17 Russian women were granted entry to New Zealand under the partnership visa policy. The company offering the bridal trip, 42 Below, started the campaign for its Stil vodka in stores and by email yesterday. 42 Below is known for its stunts aimed at gaining publicity.

    Last year, a New York gay bar owner took umbrage at the "stereotypical" way the company portrayed homosexuals in advertising. Company president James Dale replied with an expletive-laden tirade which ended up in the gossip columns. The company recorded a $2.7 million loss in the six months to last September and market analysts say its shares are a "bit of a punt" for investors. Chief executive Geoff Ross said the Russian campaign might be seen as offensive, but it was really "a bit of fun". Stil vodka was aimed at "classic Kiwi blokes, pub drinkers" who would love to meet "hot" Russian women on bridal tour websites such as www. loveme.com.

    "For the single Kiwi bloke who might not be an All Black or very good looking, this is a chance to get hooked up with somebody pretty hot," said Ross. The image of the woman scrubbing a floor was tongue in cheek, he said. "The ideal woman for the Kiwi bloke is one who keeps him fed and looked after all day and meets all his needs." But Russian women contacted by the Sunday Star-Times said the idea of Russian women desperate to come to New Zealand and look after overweight, idle husbands was wrong.

    "Most Russian women I know are highly educated, with university degrees," said Auckland consultant Maria Gorokhova. Most of the Russian women on singles websites - one has more than 400 Russian women wanting to find Kiwi partners - are professionals, including doctors, lawyers and economists. Gorokhova said offering a bride in a competition was degrading to women. "It's treating women like some kind of toy, or trophy."

    Auckland businesswoman Olga Essina said most Russian women were better educated than Kiwi men, and the image of the woman cleaning the floor was offensive. Russian women were house proud, but they would not put up with cooking and cleaning for long. "She would quickly realise she was being used."

    Essina said a lot of Russian women who came here with dreams of falling in love and having a better life were disappointed, as men exaggerated their worth. "Most of it is based on lies - they lie about property ownership and a lot of things."

    Ross said he did not know how immigration matters would be handled for the competition winner. "We leave all that to the bridal tour organisers. They say it's easily do-able so we're taking their word."

    The Immigration Service said the marriage of a foreigner to a New Zealand resident did not automatically give the foreigner residence in this country. "The department's policy requires that applicants for residence must provide sufficient evidence to satisfy an immigration officer they have been living together for 12 months or more, in a partnership that is genuine and stable, with a New Zealand citizen or resident," a spokesman said.
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    Pulsarblu's Avatar
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    Default Vodkas all round!

    Time to boycott the vodka...

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