• Sweden's news in English
 

Swedish wrath over 'naked shocker' advert

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.

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
Israel 'not happy' at Abbas invite to Sweden
US Secretary of State meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, in November 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/TT

Israel 'not happy' at Abbas invite to Sweden

Israel’s ambassador has sharply criticised Sweden for inviting President Mahmoud Abbas to Stockholm next month, citing it as further evidence of the “energetic pro-Palestinian line” the country’s new red-Green government has taken. READ  

Beggars 'objectified' at Malmö exhibition
Roma migrants who have swapped the streets for an art gallery. Photo: Albin Balthasar

Beggars 'objectified' at Malmö exhibition

Two Roma beggars have been paid to take part in a controversial art installation that has seen them sitting and standing in silence with a paper cup in front of them in a Malmö art gallery. READ  

More open borders for Swedish nationals
An SAS plane taking off from Sweden. Photo: TT

More open borders for Swedish nationals

From this summer, Swedes may be be able to leave their passports at home when travelling to the UK and other non-Schengen countries within the EU. READ  

Thick snow set to cause further travel chaos
A sign warns about falling snow and ice in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Thick snow set to cause further travel chaos

UPDATED: Heavy snowfall has caused major traffic problems in parts of western and southern Sweden, with further bad weather set to sweep across the country this weekend. READ  

Presented by Verksamt.se
'Immigration is critical' for Stockholm’s future
The city of Stockholm. Photo: Björn Olin/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

'Immigration is critical' for Stockholm’s future

Stockholm’s business community gathered on Friday to discuss the future of the city’s labour market. While housing and education were mentioned, it was another theme that reigned supreme. READ  

Jay-Z seeks Swedish music service takeover
Rapper Jay-Z at an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on January 16th 2015. Photo: TT

Jay-Z seeks Swedish music service takeover

Project Panther, an enterprise linked to American hip hop artist Shawn Carter - better known as Jay-Z- is expected to take over Scandinavian-based digital music firm Aspiro, one of Spotify's biggest rivals. READ  

Spotify mute about fresh funding rumours
Spotify is the world's largest online music streaming service. Photo: TT

Spotify mute about fresh funding rumours

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify has declined to comment on reports that it is raising new funds that could delay a public listing. READ  

Swedish troops join Somali pirate mission
A Somali pirate near Hobyo, Somalia in 2012. Photo: TT

Swedish troops join Somali pirate mission

Around 70 Swedish soldiers are heading to east Africa as part of EU efforts to prevent attacks from Somali pirates. READ  

Housing queue now '20 years' in parts of capital
Apartments in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Housing queue now '20 years' in parts of capital

The queue for housing in Stockholm lengthened dramatically 2014, with many "insecure" residents signing up because of fears the shortage of accommodation in the capital could get worse. READ  

Sweden will make 'demands' on Palestine
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Cairo this month. Photo: TT

Sweden will make 'demands' on Palestine

UPDATED: Sweden’s new government recognised Palestine in its first foreign policy decision in October 2014 but Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has said the state needs to change in order to retain Sweden’s support. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What’s on in Sweden this week
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Gallery
IN PICTURES: European Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm
National
The return of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lifestyle
Top five trends from Stockholm Fashion Week
Blog updates

30 January

Editor’s blog, January 30th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Sweden where much of the country is heading for what could be the coldest..." READ »

 

26 January

The mysterious -s, part 1 (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! How is your Swedish coming along? A while ago I read on a forum on The..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: January 28th
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Does Sweden help returning Isis fighters more than Swedish veterans?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: January snow snaps
Society
Is Sweden's healthcare system a national embarassment?
Gallery
Property of the week: Skanör, Vellinge
Lifestyle
'Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet'
National
Why Sweden's Left party wants a European 'Red Spring'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's hottest new fashion designers for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who travels on Stockholm's different subway lines?
Lifestyle
Why this Swedish baby is a US hit
Lifestyle
'Limousine' snowplough for sale
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Gallery
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Society
Meet the 'beggars' buttoning up immigration critics
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Features
Learn Sweden's bizarre dating lingo
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Gallery
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Society
Why Sweden's viral 'genital' video is getting an English remake
National
Why does Sweden's Luleå have a giant ice beaver?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who are Sweden's richest one percent?
Business & Money
How a classic Swedish snack got a revamp for 'busy' Stockholmers
Lifestyle
The Local's top Swedish acts for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Årets Bild photography prize winners
Business & Money
'I met my Swedish man in Tokyo's first Ikea store'
Gallery
Property of the week: A cozy apartment in Bromma, Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: January 17th - 18th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish gravad lax
Lifestyle
Four hot Swedish home design trends
National
How The Local's video on a strange Swedish sound went viral
Gallery
People-watching: January 14th
National
The Local's guide to Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo magazine
National
The Local talks to Sweden's Home Affairs Minister about Paris attacks
Business & Money
Will Spotify launch on stock market after users rocket?
Accelerated
Texans and Swedes to play ice instruments
Gallery
Property of the week: An 18th century mansion in Stockholm
Business & Money
'Snowboarding drew me to work in chilly Sweden'
National
Are Sweden's royals moving to London?
Sponsored Article
Everything you need to know about moving to Stockholm
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

1,092
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options