• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Swedish wrath over 'naked shocker' advert

The Local · 4 Jan 2013, 17:21

Published: 04 Jan 2013 17:21 GMT+01:00

“I only need my mobile!” naked staff profess in a Christmas advert that set of an avalanche of sexism complaints about the company Seamless to Sweden’s Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen, RO).

In December 2012, a third of all complaints sent in to Sweden’s Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen, RO) concerned the advertisements from e-money firm Seamless.

The full page ads appeared in the Aftonbladet tabloid in the run up to Christmas.

“We nicknamed it the ‘naked shocker’ in the office and we’re proud of the campaign,” Seamless CEO Olivera Andersson told media magazine Resumé on Thursday.

She said they were expecting public reactions to female staff members of all ages stripping down for the risqué pictures.

"But after all, we are born naked."

It was not only members of the public who saw red, tech columnist Peter Esse wrote that he was so annoyed at the marketing ploy that he would never use the company's mobile-payment services again.

"Why are they showing naked women instead of showing us what service the company offers?" he wrote in the online magazine Allt om Mac.

"And seemingly, they don't have a lot of faith in their coworkers competencies, as they're instead showing their bodies in full-page adverts."

The nature of the complaints to the advertising watchdog mostly echoed his concerns.

“The majority of the complains considered the adverts to be discriminatory to women,” ombudsman spokeswoman Elisabeth Trotzig told Resumé.

Story continues below…

The campaign was designed in-house, rather than by a second-party PR agency.

The company now has two weeks to respond to the complaints in a formal letter to RO, which will then decide on a plan of action.

The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

21:08 January 4, 2013 by johan rebel
Of course it is discriminatory to women, 'cause most don¨t have what it takes to pose naked. That no doubt includes 100% of the complainants. They probably don't even have a sex liife, which leaves the with plenty of time to whinge, whine and complain about non-issues like this one. They are also playing directly into the hands of the advertiser, who is getting a lot of free publicity.
22:17 January 4, 2013 by newsjerseyballs
First of all, it ain't sexist and anyone who takes these morons seriously needs some sense beaten into them. Second, I watched Family Guy tonight. Its filthy, its hysterical and its on TV every night for several hours. So what's the point of this ombudsman? Sounds like some panty waist who needs a proctologist more than a government paycheck. I'm starting a company myself and if this advertising has these people crazy I'll have them jumping off buildings with what I've got in my drawers. Pure raunch and I'll be laughing all the way to the bank with the free publicity. I got your sexism....right heeeeeay.
14:03 January 5, 2013 by krrodman
If the purpose of an advertisement is to bring attention to the product, then this is an extraordinarily successful advertising campaign.

Bravo!!!
16:09 January 5, 2013 by Voiceout
Nude photos of women brings vulnerability of women's safety in sweden. Already there are alarming news about the sexual harrassment that some women citizens face. Moreover , there are ethics and culture in a company. Nudity is not a favourable decent culture except it is vulgar. Why should the company opt for a vulgar advertisement to endorse the goodness of its product. If the product is really good , it gets good sale . Captivating customers by its shocking nude advertisements shows the cheap work culture of this company.
16:46 January 5, 2013 by Mxzf
Since the campaign also contains "naked" (nothing is actually showing, as usual) men, I doubt it can be considered discriminating. Except if the men showed nipples and the girls didn't, I suppose (but then, in which direction?).
21:05 January 5, 2013 by rramirez
The "third of all complaints" could reflect four of twelve complaints for all we know, with the ombudsman using distorted statistics to deceptively justify its own existence. Let's be honest, there is no general "wrath" in response to this ad.

This advertising ombudsman is completely obsolete and pointless. In a world so full of messages via so many media, the idea of focusing on traditional media and further the advertising within that traditional media ignores 99% of everything going on. All this ombudsman does is give free publicity to anyone that the ombudsman goes after. As advertisers seek publicity, the ombudsman is actually encouraging the precise behavior it is trying to discourage. It should be done away with for the sake of those it is trying to protect in order to prevent people like #2 from using this silly position as a means of generating free publicity.
23:57 January 5, 2013 by Eric1
So funny to read how Swedes think Americans are so prudish. Then they are shocked with these so called nude advertisement. Shockingly funny.
08:56 January 7, 2013 by EP
The Swedes are so prudish and boring. In most other western countries no one would bat an eye at this. Go after something that matters not a crappy advert.
10:14 January 7, 2013 by fikatid
They are making a mountain out of a molehill. Oh please, don't they like to complain. To make it even, they can have both semi-naked women and men in the ad then.
17:40 January 7, 2013 by zat_xela
Excellent. I'm sure these women were not forced to do this ad. For an in-house campaign to get international attention like this...well done! No such thing as bad publicity.
18:14 January 7, 2013 by Nvd
I am happy that they got the publicity. Yay.
18:49 January 8, 2013 by wxman
They are all beautiful normal women, with all the normal differences that will never allow them to be high priced models. Yet, they are the natural beauties we are surrounded with in our every day lives. We are fortunate to see them in these photos being natural, beautiful everyday women looking outstandingly seductive.
14:21 January 12, 2013 by Michael A. Lowry
What interests me is how quick people are to insist that their objections are not about the nakedness per se, but about the way in which nakedness is used to objectify women. Oddly, they do not complain about similar ads involving men. Nor do they realize that they are contributing to an atmosphere of sensationalism that they themselves often acknowledge is harmful.

More of my thoughts on this can be found on my blog:

http://blog.michael-lowry.com/2013/01/swedish-panic-over-nakedness-in.html
21:41 January 20, 2013 by Johannesson
I dislike this not because of sexism, but because it is un-Swedish. The soul of Swedish people is lagom; it is to be appropriate, use discretion, and not cause a stir. This advert was deliberately controversial and thus contrary to our cultural identity.
Today's headlines
Struggling Ericsson pulls plug on CEO Vestberg
Hans Vestberg presents Ericsson's second quarter report last week. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has fired its long-standing CEO Hans Vestberg, the company announced on Monday morning.

Private holiday rentals boom in Sweden
A youth hostel in Sundsvall, central Sweden. Photo: Helena Landstedt / TT

More tourists in Sweden are choosing to rent private homes from the likes of Airbnb - but the hotel industry is just fine.

My Swedish Career
'The fashion industry can really do better'
Social entrepreneur Stefanie Smith. Photo: Private

The Local talks to US social entrepreneur Stefanie Smith about transparent fashion and why Sweden's startup scene is about more than just tech.

Sweden to sizzle in the sun for a few more days
The beach at Båstad on Saturday. Photo: TT

The heatwave that hit most of Sweden last week is set to continue until Wednesday at least, according to Swedish weather forecaster, SMHI.

Swedish ex-prime minister Thorbjorn Fälldin dead at 90
Fälldin in 1981. Photo: TT/FLT-PICA

Thorbjorn Fälldin, the former farmer who became prime minister in Sweden's first non-Social Democratic government since World War II, has died at the age of 90.

Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

Video
When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Blog updates

14 July

Boris Johnson: why Britain’s new foreign minister is cordially loathed (Globally Local) »

"There are lots of things to say about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new foreign secretary. He is…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
National
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
National
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,334
jobs available