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Ad agency sent 'bloody horse head' in the post

Ad agency sent 'bloody horse head' in the post

Published: 14 Mar 2012 11:11 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Mar 2012 11:11 GMT+01:00

A Swedish hardware retail giant alerted security after discovering a “blood soaked” horse head in the mail, which a Dalarna advertising company claimed was just a harmless “pop cultural mash-up”.

“We were playing around with ideas, and thought the famous Dalarna horse with its head chopped off made a great image,” said Jesper Wallerborg, digital director of United Power, to The Local.

In a nod to The Godfather film, the advertising team decided to lop the heads off the iconic wooden Dalahäst, paint them gold, and send them in small boxes to retail companies, with a note saying “Humble notice – two weeks left” followed by a link to their campaign.

But when hardware chain Clas Ohlsson received the package on Tuesday morning, staff members thought it was a threat from an angry customer and alerted security, who started searching for names.

The package has been mistakenly delivered to the complaints department instead of the advertising office - as the Swedish words for "complaint" and "advert" are extremely similar (reklamation and reklam).

“I had to make a formal apology this morning,” Wallerborg said.

The heads came nestled in white fabric and in a pool of what appears to be blood. In The Godfather movie, a real horse’s head is severed and placed between someone’s sheets as a threat and a warning.

The advertising campaign was for a competition called the Gyllene Hästen ("The Golden Horse"), which is a marketing competition for companies in the county of Dalarna, central Sweden.

According to Wallenborg, everybody involved “laughed it all off eventually”, but the campaign achieved its overall ambition – to raise awareness and to get more companies to participate in their competition - even if a few feathers were ruffled along the way.

Oliver Gee

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Your comments about this article

11:38 March 14, 2012 by Åskar
What the author forgot to mention is that the package was addressed to "reklamavdelningen", the advertising department, but ended up at "reklamationsavdelningen", the complaint department.
13:23 March 14, 2012 by libertarianism
About 20,000 Swedish horses are killed each year. Half of these are documented in Sweden. The remainder are unaccounted for but are most likely transported to Belgium and Italy for slaughter, where they fetch a higher price.

Legally, horses in Sweden are killed by lethal injection or by bolt to the head, then bled out. The bolt/bleed method is used for horses which are to be eaten.

Since 2000, the bolt/bleed method decreased while the injection method doubled. The bolt/bleed method, however, increased again in 2008 with its rise attributed to Sweden's largest horse slaughterer, Knorrevångens Slakt AB.

It was soon discovered that the slaughterhouse had been killing elderly and wounded horses whose owners had been promised the horses would instead be cared for. This slaughterhouse and others have also been cited (multiple times) for various grievences, including neglect by holding horses in stalls which do not meet legal standards of care…

15:11 March 14, 2012 by gpafledthis
Just TOO funny- thanks to @ASKAR it becomes even better- that the two are so close !! I'll be damned if I will learn swedish after it took a generation here to forget it !! It's like the smell of SKUNK small odors take so long to leave but the memory remains !! Oh I remember grandpa-one more swedish word and I hit you good !! BUT others please post similar word/idea confusions !!
17:50 March 14, 2012 by RadioBob
#2: Stay on topic
19:26 March 14, 2012 by OUIJA
The "bloody horse head" was sent by orders of the Godfather.

Marlon Brando is working now for the ad agency.

@RadioBob #4

How can someone stay on topic with this type of news?.
21:30 March 14, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
It's easy to stay on topic if said poster above us took the ADHD pill this morning. Or I may be confusing that with Aspergers, who knows?

Something causes that reaction of posting everything that comes to mind when you see a word like horse. It reminds me of those Microsoft Bing commercials where everyone starts word playing off of each others last result, hilarious. It's either related to a need for attention or possibly they just can't help it, I'm pretty sure it's not because the article is lame, it's just written to explain what this advertising company did.

I'm fully expecting someone to try and explain Aspergers in a following post without realize that they are doing it, even after I say this out loud.
08:28 March 15, 2012 by OUIJA
@ # 7 Vermaldeehide

Go to other threads and you will find more than ten Aspergers. Their atypical use of language is their trademark. I guess Hans Asperger works for The Local.
13:28 March 15, 2012 by libertarianism

A Swede told me that horse meat is common in Dalarna, and so the severed Dala-häst head and blood reminded me of this practice. My empathy for the horses inspired the morbid footnote above, in the hopes of spreading awareness of the plight of these beautiful creatures.
19:27 March 15, 2012 by OUIJA
# 9 @libertarianism

Go and watch the movie "War Horse" and then you will love more these beautiful creatures.
00:12 March 20, 2012 by entry
"I'm fully expecting someone to try and explain Aspergers in a following post without realize that they are doing it, even after I say this out loud."

@21:30 March 14, 2012 by Vermaldeehide #7

-http://bit.ly/GzuKwM :)
20:38 April 19, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
Nice @Entry.
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