Quick Take: 4 of 5 Mechanics Recommend

Apparently, if you want to keep your mouth safe from inconvenient freeze-ups, as well as enjoy a sweet, minty freshness, you need only buy fake Colgate toothpaste -- "imported," from South Africa -- containing antifreeze. Those without access to a gas chromatograph can identify the fake toothpaste via subtler means, as noted by Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL  ) . One giveaway is the unique spelling, including "SOUTH AFRLCA" and "South African Dental Assoxiation."

Time was -- a couple weeks back at least -- you had to go all the way to China, or your local importer of Chinese goods, to obtain a quality dentifrice that manages engine heat while it whitens. And, by the way, there is no truth to the rumor that Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) is working on a new Crest product that will double as a drain opener.

But to get serious for a moment, this is one of those unintended consequences of the increasingly-flattened world. Brands are powerful, and for investors and corporations, that can be both good and bad.

Comments? Bring them here.

Seth Jayson is a member of the Global Gains Team, which scours the globe for the World's best investment opportunities. He's seen enough bad Chinese transliteration to suspect that any "South African" box carrying the word "Assoxiation" could have originated in China.

At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had no positions in any company mentioned here. See his latest blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Colgate-Palmolive is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Fool rules are here.


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