Those marketeers in the business of giving business gifts will know that some items can definitely give an unfortunate impression in some cultures.

The word “clock” has a similarity to the word for a pre-funeral visit to the dying in China; in Latin America the gift of a knife means that you wish to cut the relationship, and the cross logo on a Swiss Army Knife is un-impressive in non-Christian countries; reminders of death are also given by anything purple in Brazil, anything yellow in Mexico and chrysanthemums of any colour in Belgium; and in the German language the word gift means poison.

One amusing example to now add to the list has been supplied by bankers Barclays who recently gave those attending their shareholders meeting a Barclays branded mug, prompting some mischievous elements in the press to wonder if this was what Barclays secretly thought of those who gave them their money ……..

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