This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.
There was a whopper of a battle between a sex service in Chiba and hamburger behemoth McDonald’s that left the call girl business far from lovin’ it.
The sex service called itself Nukudonarudo, a play on words taken from nukeru, slang Japanese for ejaculation, and Makudonarudo, the local pronunciation of McDonald’s.
“We thought it’d be better to have a name with impact. It came about by coincidence because there was a McDonald’s restaurant in front of us at the time we were meeting to discuss the service name,” the operator of Nukudonarudo tells Shukan Gendai. “In this business, it’s better to create a bit of a stir, so we didn’t mind if they sued us.”
Nukudonarudo also copied McDonald’s menus to label its sex services. While the restaurant has a standard 0 yen charge for a smile, Nukudonarudo informed its customers they were entitled to a “sexy groan for 0 yen.”
McDonald’s was none too pleased to see itself associated with a call girl service.
“We confirmed in July that the name belonged to a sex service. We don’t want our customers to consider the possibility that our company is associated with that business and their name hurts the brand we have worked very hard to establish,” a member of McDonald’s communications division tells Shukan Gendai. “We informed the company that its name breached the fair trade practices law and demanded it be changed.”
Threatened with a massive lawsuit from a huge multinational, Nukudonarudo’s owner lost his cojones.
“My lawyer told me that McDonald’s in the United States had led the complaints against us and that compensation in a lawsuit could run into the hundreds of millions of yen. Considering we also called one of our services a ‘Super Value Set,’ I figured a court case probably wasn’t the best idea,” the owner tells Shukan Gendai. “We had no choice, so have recently changed the name. Now, we’re gonna call ourselves ‘Nukutteria’ (after “nukeru” and Korean fast food chain Lotteria).”
(The Mainichi Waiwai column ran online from April 19, 2001 – June 21, 2008. It was a much loved form of entertainment amongst foreigner in and outside of Japan. To any reader it was obviously not serious news, but it was a set of articles that portrayed quite well how the Japanese tabloids actually write about their own country. In 2008, a small number of Japanese people bought it to the attention of rival news groups that Mainichi was running an anti-Japan column on its website. With the bad publicity, Mainichi was forced to shut the page down, and take punitive measures against the journalists that were working on it, claiming that it was receiving opinions that were critical of the column, such as “its contents are too vulgar” and “the stories could cause Japanese people to be misunderstood abroad”. A perfect example of how Japanese consider what they write in their own script to be an acceptable secret code, that the rest of the world cant understand. When that same tabloid rubbish gets inconveniently translated to English to make light of some aspects of the Japanese people, it gets canned. Stippy.com finds this unacceptable, and will reproduce as much of the Waiwai content as possible in order to bring it once again to our computer screens for a good laugh. Of course we claim no credit for this content, and attribute it to it’s writers who were former Mainichi employees. Waiwai in its true and glorious form has been discontinued, but it’s legacy will live on at stippy.com for all to enjoy.)