• Sweden edition
 
Angry Birds playground has parents fuming
A file image of the Angry Birds game on a smartphone. File photo: Jonas Ekströmmer/TT

Angry Birds playground has parents fuming

Published: 09 Jan 2014 16:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2014 16:09 GMT+01:00

Angry Birds-themed equipment at a playground in western Sweden has parents hopping mad that the city has subjected their children to unwanted marketing for the popular video game.

"What were officials at city hall thinking when they bought toys that give a well-known brand a chance to showcase their products among children?" parent Hannes Brage, 26, told the local Bohuslänningen newspaper.

Brage is one of several parents in Uddevalla who have expressed frustration that public funds for the upgrade a local playground in the Fasseröd neighbourhood were used to purchase a number of Angry Bird-themed items.

"Would McDonald's have been allowed to place Ronald McDonald there as a billboard?" wondered Brage.

While other parents were happy to have a newly-renovated playground, they expressed concern that the presence of swings, benches, and waste bins emblazoned with the colourful Angry Birds characters would create a desire among children to acquire their own Angry Birds-themed products.

Developed by Finnish gaming firm Rovio, Angry Birds has exploded in popularity since its 2009 release as an iPhone app. More than 12 million copies of the game have been downloaded, and the company has since released a slew of follow-up versions.

Rovio has also licensed the production of Angry Birds-themed merchandise ranging from candy to plush toys and books – as well as playground equipment.

The municipality spent between 500,000 to one million kronor ($75,000-$150,000) improving the playground, Agnetha Johansson of the Uddevalla parks department told the paper.

She insisted that the Angry Birds equipment was chosen only because officials thought it would make the park fun, adding that most of the feedback she'd received about the playground was positive.

Sweden has strict rules governing advertising directed at children. Television advertising of goods and services to children younger than 12 is prohibited.

Anna-Lena Heydar, the Social Democrat member of the local council, added her voice to the chorus of criticism directed at the Angry Birds playground, telling the Bohuslänningen she thought it was "unacceptable to have a playground that functions as product placement for a single company".

Local council member Zeidi Ström of the Moderate Party stopped short of criticizing the playground, explaining she didn't know what Angry Birds was, but added that future purchases would likely be reviewed more closely.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs that are laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian drag mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian drag mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Easter traffic two years ago on the E4 motorway. File: Jessica Gow/TT

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement. READ () »

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Jas Gripen jets in flight. File photo: TT

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia. READ () »

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Check out what's happening with The Local's guide to the main attractions and events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - in association with DoToday. READ () »

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Grossed out Ica woman at Easter dinner. Screengrab from Ica

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Advertisement:
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

748
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