Bed company fined for misleading Midsummer ads

Bed company fined for misleading Midsummer ads
The Swedish Consumer Agency is demanding a 300,000 kronor ($49,474) fine from a Swedish bedding company whose advertising slogan promises "your money back if it rains on Midsummer Day".

It is the second year running that bed company Sova AB has made this promise and the second time they are getting a rap on the knuckles for their bold advertising campaign.

“Sova” means “sleep” in English, but unlike many customers, who may get tired reading the fine print, the Swedish Consumer Agency is determinedly not in the land of nod. They have actually read the ad’s fine print.

On close inspection, the ad actually only promises your money back if it rains in the Malmö area in southern Sweden. Furthermore, rain in itself isn’t sufficient, a downpour is necessary.

The company also specify a minimum of 5 millimetres of rain between 12 o’clock midday and 3pm on midsummer day’s afternoon.

Sova AB have been running their national media campaign in the weeks leading up to midsummer, possibly Sweden’s most anticipated public holiday. The campaign plays on the national superstition that it is always going to rain on midsummer day, though the correlation between rain and going to bed is not an obvious one.

According to the Swedish Consumer Agency, Sova AB are blatantly flouting consumer and marketing legislation. In fact, the Swedish Marketing Court has forbidden similar advertising campaigns in the past.

The Swedish Consumer Agency represents consumer interests in relations to businesses, and pursues legal action in the consumer interest.