“I only need my mobile!” naked staff profess in a Christmas advert that set of an avalanche of sexism complaints about the company Seamless to Sweden’s Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen, RO).
In December 2012, a third of all complaints sent in to Sweden’s Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen, RO) concerned the advertisements from e-money firm Seamless.
The full page ads appeared in the Aftonbladet tabloid in the run up to Christmas.
“We nicknamed it the ‘naked shocker’ in the office and we’re proud of the campaign,” Seamless CEO Olivera Andersson told media magazine Resumé on Thursday.
She said they were expecting public reactions to female staff members of all ages stripping down for the risqué pictures.
“But after all, we are born naked.”
It was not only members of the public who saw red, tech columnist Peter Esse wrote that he was so annoyed at the marketing ploy that he would never use the company’s mobile-payment services again.
“Why are they showing naked women instead of showing us what service the company offers?” he wrote in the online magazine Allt om Mac.
“And seemingly, they don’t have a lot of faith in their coworkers competencies, as they’re instead showing their bodies in full-page adverts.”
The nature of the complaints to the advertising watchdog mostly echoed his concerns.
“The majority of the complains considered the adverts to be discriminatory to women,” ombudsman spokeswoman Elisabeth Trotzig told Resumé.
The campaign was designed in-house, rather than by a second-party PR agency.
The company now has two weeks to respond to the complaints in a formal letter to RO, which will then decide on a plan of action.