• Sweden edition
 
COLBERT'S @SWEDEN CAMPAIGN
Sweden did not want to ‘sell out’ to Colbert

Sweden did not want to ‘sell out’ to Colbert

Published: 28 Jun 2012 17:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jun 2012 17:29 GMT+02:00

In what many hailed as an unexpected and unusual move, Swedish officials told the US comedian that he could not take over the @sweden Twitter account on Wednesday after Colbert’s much publicized #ArtificialSwedener campaign.

Maria Ziv, the director of marketing of Visit Sweden, one of the organization's behind the initiative, explained to The Local on Thursday that Colbert’s Twitter style, along with her agency's fear of selling out, were the two main reasons behind the decision.

“We started this initiative to create a sense of closeness and a dialogue between the curator and the followers, in the aim of giving a perspective of Sweden and its culture,” she said, referencing the Curators of Sweden campaign.

“When we looked at Stephen Colbert’s official Twitter account, we saw that while he did have 3.6 million followers – he followed no one in return."

She went on to explain that Visit Sweden ultimately had serious reservations about whether Colbert would be a good fit and what sort of signals a "yes" would have sent.

“He is a Twitter ‘broadcaster’ and this doesn’t align with our goals. Our decision was that we wouldn’t cave in and sell out, just because he’s famous. We decided that a Colbert takeover would have served him, not us,” she said.

After the publicity surrounding Colbert’s #ArtificialSwedener campaign added some 40,000 followers to the @sweden account, the team at Visit Sweden intensified their discussions about the rules of who can curate the account, Ziv explained.

Initially, the rules stated that a curator had to be a Swedish citizen in Sweden to run the account. Since then, Swedes living abroad have taken the helm, too.

But Ziv explained that officials at Visit Sweden and the Swedish Institute are keen to take things further.

“We’re currently discussing the possibility of letting anyone who lives in Sweden to have the chance to curate,” she said.

According to Ziv, the idea is to consider anyone at all living in Sweden, whether they have permanent residency or are just an exchange student.

“These people are the ones with a fresh and unique perspective of the country, something we consider would be completely relevant to visitors,” she added.

But this doesn’t mean that the door is closed to celebrities like Colbert in the future.

“Who knows, in the future we may have honorary Tweeters - providing they are interactive, of course," Ziv said.

"We actually mentioned Will Ferrell at one point, as he has a Swedish wife, but I don’t want to go on about that – I wouldn’t want to make Mr Colbert cross,” Ziv told The Local.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Your comments about this article

18:57 June 28, 2012 by Ryn
Seriously? It is just one week. This whole thing started because the Swedes they picked were a little iffy. Millions of people now know about the @sweden twitter feed thanks to Colbert. Those same millions of people are going to think Sweden is so boring that they can't even have fun with their twitter accounts.

Sorry Visit Sweden but this makes me not want to visit Sweden. Although I live here so really I just want to visit the U.S. Fist bump to the the Visit Colbert land PR peeps.
19:11 June 28, 2012 by Good Mr Che
I agree with their decision. Even though Colbert is a famous entertainer, I have no desire to read him twitting on behalf of the country he is quite ignorant about in his jokes.
19:23 June 28, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
If I was Mr Colbert, I wouldn't be losing much sleep over the Swedish decision
22:20 June 28, 2012 by RunningBecky
I think I would make a great @sweden guest for a week....Next year when I transfer my nursing license to Sweden and move to Göteborg. A new immigrant nurse, adjusting to a new job, country, language, culture and way of life would be a very interesting subject. However, if they asked me to be a guest next week I would say that is Inte Riktig Klok! Nobody, whether they are a talented celebratry, married to a Swede or had read all three Man som hatar kvinnor books should be tweeting under @sweden. If you open it up to non-Swedes or people who live in Sweden at least, you have killed the whole purpose of having @sweden in the first place!

Becky
22:54 June 28, 2012 by prince T
because you are famous does not mean you should have no respect for other people's value. good decision by @sweden
17:26 June 29, 2012 by PCM
This is not the first time Colbert has been frustrated in his aspirations to world domination: Hungary refused to name its first cable-stayed bridge after him -- although the Hungarian ambassador *did* at least have the good grace and humor to appear on the Colbert Report to deliver the bad news in person. (HINT, HINT.) Colbert's conquest of space has been somewhat more successful, with NASA's designation of the International Space Station's new excercise machine as the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT). Can a newly discovered gaseous anomaly be far behind?
16:21 July 2, 2012 by Munir Ahmed
LOL, amateurs...Now everyone can go back to not caring about @Sweden.

Colbert Nation was doing Swedish tourism a favor, he and Jon Stewart have the #1 nightly show in America, MILLIONS of viewers nightly.
Today's headlines
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,007
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN