The Verein Deutsche Sprache announced late on Friday they had given Obermann the dubious distinction because the telecommunications company uses an abundance of often odd English terms rather than German. Among the company's many offerings are: “Extreme Playgrounds,” “Call & Surf” and “Shared Cost International.”
“A visit to the company's website is shock therapy in the horror closet of the German language," the group's chairman Walter Krämer said, adding that Deutsche Telekom has annoyed its clients over the years with English language imports. Nearly all Telekom calling plans have English names, he noted.
This is the second time a Telekom chief has received the negative award. In 1998, then Telekom head Ron Sommer won in part for marketing rate plans with names like “sunshine” and “moonshine.”
In this year's running, second place was taken by Germany's Family Minister Kristina Schröder for her “Equal-Pay-Day” idea. The Verein Deutsche Sprache is the country's largest watchdog association for the German language.