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22 Sep 04. There is no better flagship for European integration than EADS, the multinational aerospace conglomerate behind Airbus, Eurofighter and the Ariane rocket. Given its French-German-Spanish roots and wide-ranging interests there can be confusion over what it is, however. To help the European taxpayer understand, it has been running a series of double-page glossy advertisements in leading industry magazine Flight International themed “I am EADS”, in which a different employee each week explains what he or she does and what their bit of the company does. Last week a relaxed-looking budget controller who works at Eurocopter, “the EADS company for world-class helicopters”, was pictured in a light summer dress on a grassy hillside. The accompanying blurb refers to the Tiger, “a multi-role fixed-wing aircraft”. Oops. Observer’s resident planespotter says it is a helicopter, with blades that definitely go round. The explanation for the blunder is all too simple, and indicative of the perils of multinational collaboration. The advert was drawn up in Germany and there was an error in translation. Thorsten Moellmann, EADS’s Munich-based corporate promotions senior manager, is especially defensive because the error occurred in a female profile, as the campaign aimed to highlight womens’ role in a traditionally male industry. “There was no thinking behind it,” he said. Too true. (Source: FT)

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