• Sweden's news in English

'Have an affair' ad cleared by industry watchdog

TT/The Local/pvs · 29 Jun 2011, 16:28

Published: 29 Jun 2011 16:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Local reported back in March that billboards from the Victoria Milan dating site had appeared 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 suggested.

The ad prompted a storm of consumer protests and the Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen - RO) duly took up the case to consider whether the advert had breached the industry's code of ethics.

On Wednesday, the ombudsman announced that it had decided to clear the advert and Victoria Milan from any wrongdoing.

"The Advertising Ombudsman's advisory board has now cleared the advert as the advertising can't be distinguished the content of the service," RO wrote in a statement.

RO's advisory board considers whether an advert is in conflict with International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rules on advertising and marketing communication, for example by causing offence, being contrary to accepted moral standards, or encouraging behavior that is generally regarded as reprehensible.

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

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.

Story continues below…

When the controversy over the site's advertising broke in March the firm's founder and CEO, Sigurd Vedal, claimed in an interview with the Dagens Industri (DI) daily, that the service was very much in demand.

"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," Vedal told DI.

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:32 June 29, 2011 by Nemesis
In Sweden, I would be suprised if this made any difference at all.
09:47 June 30, 2011 by luke123

Do you think that people where monogamous in the past ?

The vikings were notorious for screwing around, so it's most definately not against traditions and history of the nation.
10:17 June 30, 2011 by AbangBeruang
"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," Vedal told DI.

I am little bit surprised with this reasoning. One can not justify a behavior simply on the fact that it exists anyway. Society should not be allowed, taught and encouraged to cheat spouses, rather the society should be encouranged to stay faithful and honest to the spouses. I may sound very old fashioned, but this is a fact that none can deny that, once families are destroyed in large numbers, more and more socials ills will surface in the society.
11:34 June 30, 2011 by Coghlan
This is just disgusting. Sweden, how dare you ! OK, you can argue that cheating on a spouse is already being practiced. Fine ! But that doesn't mean cheating on a spouse is fair or correct. And by having an ad like this one, you are condoning this unfair practice. When I read this "Are you married? Liven up your life - have an affair" I just feel so sickened. This ad is simply encouraging infidelity and then all the problems that go with infidelity. I know infidelity exists and society is by no means perfect. But one should not be encouraging this. All I can say is this: Sweden, how dare you !!!! How dare you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12:23 June 30, 2011 by jamesblish
Yes, Sweden as a country condones everything that goes on here. Absolutely.
12:26 July 1, 2011 by BillyB
Reality is that people are NOT having affairs because of this site, this site exists because people always have and always will have affairs.

Im sure people whose partners have had an affair, or people who are scared their partner might have an affair are upset/angry by this site, but this site isnt the cause of the problems..

thats like saying McDonalds is at fault for fat people..

what are they worried about i wonder...If you are in a happy and loving relationship you would laugh about the site and advert...maybe not everything is rosey at home.....
19:33 July 1, 2011 by jomamas
Affairs have extremely damaging social consequences, the 'advanced Swedes' of all people should understand that.

Affairs often have far worse consequences than acute domestic abuse (not 'acute'). A man will recover from being slapped once by his wife. He will not ever recover from her cheating.

It's amazing that even progressive minded people don't grasp this, which is the basis for it's immorality.

The idea that 'it happens anyhow' is a baseless argument.

'RAPE SITE: hey, it happens anyhow, so find a girl to rape on our site' ...
10:23 July 2, 2011 by BillyB
There is a big difference between rape and extra marital sex

Bit worrying if you think they are the same
20:05 July 2, 2011 by Pro-alliance
"...married men or women can create an account on the site and find a temporary partner."

Though no one is a saint, I think people are rightly shocked. This creates unneeded suspicions in relationships, and this is not wanted. Besides why marry in the first place and then later live like a single man or woman? From time to time, there are a few problems in relationships but this suggestion is far too ahead than what is considered as moderate.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available