Beer Ad Has Solodovs Frothing

A storm of attention has been unleashed upon Muscovites with the last name of Solodov: Over the last week, scores of billboards have popped up all over the city sporting the provocative slogan, "Solodov, I want you!"

The unusual ad campaign, however, is not dedicated to men, but to a new brand of beer.

Solodov the beer, created by the Kazan beverage maker Edelweiss and brewed by the Kazan company Krasny Vostok, hasn't even hit the kiosks yet and it is already causing a stir — with officials as well as with men named Solodov.

"The city inspectorate for monitoring artistic design and advertisements demanded the Solodov advertisement be replaced with something 'more aesthetic," said Yury Kupin, public relations director of the advertising agency NFQ, which created the controversial ad campaign.

Kupin said the word "want" will be replaced with "am waiting for" to suggest family ties and avoid arousing indecent associations. On Tuesday, the process of re-pasting the 70 billboards rented by NFQ for Solodov began.

Men named Solodov had different reactions to the ad.

Muscovite Alexander Solodov, 48, was disgusted. "Where did such a moronic advertisement come from? It's tasteless. I don't know who wants me there," he said.

In contrast, a different Alexander Solodov, 38, is pleased with the billboard. "It flatters me as a man, although, to be honest, at first it shocked me. Solodov is a rather uncommon name."

Dmitry Solodov, a pensioner, said his son, also Solodov, considered suing the advertisers. "It's indecent. Couldn't they write in brackets that it's beer?" he said.

Solodov is not the first beer to be named after a person. Oleg Tinkov, owner of the trademark and beer restaurant Tinkoff, insists he is the author of this trend.

"When a product is given a person's name, the consumer understands who answers for its quality and takes the responsibility and risk for the product," said Tinkov.

Production of Solodov is slated to begin at the end of April, and volumes are estimated at between 10 million to 15 million half-liter bottles a month, said Ilshat Khairullin, a member of the board of directors of Krasny Vostok. The new beer will be sold in the mid-level price range, he said.

Khairullin said Edelweiss intends to invest around $2 million to $3 million to advertise Solodov.