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Swedish 'have an affair' ad sets complaint record

TT/The Local/dl · 18 Mar 2011, 14:31

Published: 18 Mar 2011 14:31 GMT+01:00

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On Wednesday, The Local reported on billboards on a number of Stockholm bus shelters with a tagline urging marital infidelity.

"Are you married? Liven up your life - have an affair", the ad suggests.

While complaints began coming into the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen - RO) last weekend, but Friday the agency reported that it had received dozens complaints about the campaign from Norwegian firm Victoria Milan.

"Yesterday we got ten in two hours. Now we're up to more than 90 of them, which is a new record for the number of complaints," she told the TT news agency.

The previous record –37 complaints – was held by Comviq, but Victoria Milan's "have an affair" challenge, which includes ads on bus shelters and the Stockholm metro, as well as television commercials, has shattered all previous figures.

According to Victoria Milan, however, it's not only complaints which have skyrockets since the launch of the ad campaign.

"So far our membership numbers and revenues have beat expectations. That shows that the concent works and that there is a large market for this," the company's founder and CEO, Sigurd Vedal, told the Dagens Industri newspaper.

For a monthly few of a few hundred kronor, married men or women can create an account on the site and find a temporary partner.

Story continues below…

In one corner of the page is a "panic button" which allows users to quickly leave the site in favour of a less controversial website.

"I understand that people have a reaction. But we're launching a service for a behaviour that already exists. Our service is an alternative to divorce," said Vedal.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:48 March 18, 2011 by Atlas
What better PR than having complains about a business practice :). The more people complain, the more it gets interesting...
17:11 March 18, 2011 by BrittInSweden
NINETY!!!! Wow, get that advert removed. Those numbers are astounding.
21:49 March 18, 2011 by Rolle
Genius ad. Kudos
22:07 March 18, 2011 by Soft Boiled

Yeah right?
22:08 March 18, 2011 by Hagrid
Heck, if this is what we come to, why get married in the first place. How sad.
02:19 March 19, 2011 by Scott Huard
Here's a thought. We should start teaching our kids that:

#1. Sex does NOT equal love.

#2. Marriage does not equal love.

#3. Love means caring enough to speak the truth.

#4. Most people are afraid to speak truth because they would lose what little alleged love they have at the time they speak.

#5. We need to teach people to speak the truth about their needs and wants and desires without being mean to each other.
09:53 March 19, 2011 by Rishonim
People don't need an advert suggesting they should have an affair. People do it so naturally in Sweden. Swedish guys go to Thailand and sleep with anything that crawls while their women go out, get drunk and bang anyone that says "HeJ".
12:11 March 19, 2011 by McChatter
Just goes to prove that Swedes have no sense of humour. Lighten up!
12:13 March 19, 2011 by johnny1939
Great show..just joined
22:30 March 19, 2011 by Madstadlad
@McChatter, no sense of humour? Tell the kids of wrecked marriages it's all just a good laugh!
01:48 March 20, 2011 by LeoKinmann
LOL Rishonim, I'll second that
04:21 March 20, 2011 by sunnchilde
This is insanity. Let's encourage hundreds of random people to screw other random people no matter what diseases they may have. I just got through watching a movie called "And the Band Played On". It's about the rise of AIDS in San Francisco.

The fact is this ---> It wasn't the disease itself that was the real killer. The REAL killer was promiscuous sex! One infected monogamous person spreads the disease to exactly one other person (their mate) and there the disease dies. It was the bath-houses in San Francisco that really let this disease get a foothold. Encouraging multiple sex with random partners is not only foolish and dangerous but it's also Stupid!
08:03 March 21, 2011 by Da Goat
I second what Scott H said right on the money Scott!

genius reklam though all the same but yeah it's sad!
12:01 March 24, 2011 by RitaPita
"Our service is an alternative to divorce." ... actually, no. Your service will INDUCE divorce. That's what the banner is implying.

If the divorce would be inevitable, then logically so would the affair, and in that case there wouldn't be a need to encourage it.
19:11 August 25, 2011 by Scott Huard
One of the saddest things goiing on here in america is the website called Ashley Madison...its advertised as a cheating website AND THE SADDEST THING ABOUT IT IS THAT 2/3rds of the subscribers to it are...WOMEN...and men are told that they are pigs...right...
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