Moggliden AB, a company run by late Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson's father and younger brother, recently became part-owners of asset management firm Placerum. The Umeå-based business celebrates this in a new advert, stating “Stieg Larsson's heirs chose us”.
In a video published on its website it also gives one of its staff members a complete makeover to turn her into moody hacker-cum-detective heroine Lisbeth Salander.
But the strange tribute to the main character in Larsson's Millennium series have rubbed some fans up the wrong way.
“Tasteful ad,” is one person's sarcastic response on Twitter.
“The probability that socialist, feminist, anti-racist Stieg would give his money here has to be considered somewhat low,” writes another.
The company itself seems to have anticipated the criticism, because it underlines in a statement on its website that Larsson's heirs have given their permission to use the author's characters in the short video clip and adverts published in Swedish media.
“They simply want to use Stieg's own fictional character to manage his legacy in a good way. If the campaign successfully generates more revenue it will lead to the growth of invested capital. And then, by extension, more money can be handed out to the issues Stieg wanted to support,” said Placerum chief executive Anders Ledin.
“Lisbeth Salander has already been used in massive campaigns to sell books and movies; the idea now is to, a bit like a refund, utilize that glow to develop the heritage the Millennium trilogy has created.”
Meanwhile, Eva Gabrielsson, who lost a bitter battle with Larsson's family to manage her late partner's work and strongly criticized a recently published fourth Millennium sequel, feels the advert runs counter to the anti-capitalist message in his novels.
“I don't think you should use Salander in any advert campaigns for companies. It's a bit surprising. (…) The novels are the heritage, not the money,” she told the Metro newspaper.