• Sweden edition
Outrage over Swedish grocer's 'dog-eating' ad

Outrage over Swedish grocer's 'dog-eating' ad

Published: 06 Aug 2013 16:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Aug 2013 16:54 GMT+02:00

"This ad made me puke in my mouth. Bye bye Ica," viewer Maria Westerström wrote in a comment on the grocer's Facebook page.

Another commenter, Catherine Simpson, appeared to slam Ica's ignorance about how the animals are treated in China by making light of the tradition in the ad.

"Godammit Ica, what a pointless advertisement. How can you be so ignorant about how dogs in China and other Asian countries are killed."

The angry comments are among many posted on Ica's Facebook page and other social media fora in reaction to an advertisement airing in Sweden this week, aimed at promoting low prices on items often purchased for crayfish parties that dominate the Swedish social calender in August.

In the 30-second advert (embedded below), fictional Ica employees who appear regularly in light-hearted ads for the grocery store chain discuss the particular Swedish culinary tradition that kicks off in August and during which boiled crayfish are consumed, often with copious amounts of alcohol as attendees sing drinking songs.

While one character in the ad hails Swedish crayfish parties as "truly unbeatable", another responds: "Not if you ask someone from the Chinese province of Wang Dong. There, they serve dog as a delicacy."

"Dogs?!" another chimes in with a wrinkled nose.

"Chinese people have such weird food habits," the woman responds.

The scene cuts to a Chinese family at what appears to be a dog-eating party, with the room decorated with pictures of dogs. The family wears hats with cartoon dogs on them, mimicking the Swedish tradition of donning paper caps decorated with crayfish.

"Have you heard that Swedes have these big parties where they suck on crayfish?" one man in the Chinese family says.

"You're kidding," responds another.

"Some of them even eat the intestines."

The Chinese partygoers then break into a drinking song with the refrain, "Small dogs, small dogs, are funny to see," a reference to a popular Swedish song Små grodorna ('Small frogs').

In addition to social media reactions in Sweden, a petition has posted on the Care2 petition website calling for Ica to pull the ad garnered nearly 700 signatures from around the globe in less than 24 hours.

"I'm ashamed of being Swedish, those at Ica should've known better about what's going on in China," one anonymous petition signer wrote.

SEE ALSO: Crayfish: the messiest party of the year

Ica Marketing Director Håkan Sjöstrand defended the ad, claiming it was meant to poke fun at Sweden's crayfish party tradition.

"Our intention was to hightlight the Swedish tradition of eating crayfish, which can be seen as a little strange in other countries," he told the Expressen newspaper. "And we apologize if the film has been interpreted in any other way."

However, Sjöstrand added that Ica has no plans to pull the ad.

The Local's efforts to get a comment on the matter from the Chinese embassy in Stockholm were unsuccessful.

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Getinge Floods
Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden spread further on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting rain all week. With the defence minister on the scene, officials have warned that up to 8,000 households risk evacuation. READ  

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs rocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs rocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and opposition leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »


17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

'Assange will not leave until safe'
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
People-watching August 16-17
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Top ten literal Swedish words
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in 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

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:
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: