The campaign by the Gothenburg-based couple to raise enough money to buy the omnipresent Christmas hit and pull it forever off the airwaves got significant coverage over the Christmas period, with the UK’s Daily Star, Sun, and Daily Mail, and the New York Post tabloids, and even Sweden’s Expressen newspaper running versions of the story.
Hannah was quoted in The Sun explaining how she had hated the 1980s Christmas hit ever since she worked in an Oxford cafe 13 years ago, where it was played on repeat.
“The owner had a CD with a number of ‘hits’,” she said. “He didn’t appreciate the agony the staff felt when Last Christmas played for the 111th time of the working day.”
She said that the couple had this year “asked friends how much they would pay to never hear it again — quite a lot, it turned out.”
The couple claimed to have received pledges of $112,705 from 1,294 of their friends towards the estimated $15m-$25m needed to buy the rights from the song’s owner Warner Chappell.
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After The Local first published this story, Hannah tweeted, “I hope you like our joke” in response, posting a link to the couple’s campaign, No More Last Christmas, which is described as their “yearly Christmas card”.
Hope you like our joke 🙂
— Frey (@HannahLinaFrey) December 28, 2022
He said that he had not sent the link to the site to any media, and that one of his friends appeared to have tipped off a journalist in Wales.
Studio Total was in 2011 behind a viral story about a sex school launched in Vienna. The world’s first college of applied sexuality, AISOS, would, according to its website emphasize “hands-on” lessons in lovemaking, and was due to open in mid-December 2011. Mazetti fessed up to his involvement a month later.
In 2012 Hannah got involved, and together with Tomas came up with the idea of “Teddybear Airdrop Minsk 2012”, in which a plane piloted by Mazetti, and with Hannah on board, entered Belarusian airspace and dropped 1,000 teddy bears holding cards and banners with protest slogans. See images from Studio Total here.
The operation triggered a major diplomatic incident, with Sweden’s ambassador to Belarus expelled, a Belarusian border guard being jailed, and Belarus withdrawing its ambassador from Sweden for six years.
Tomas said that the idea of targeting Belarus had actually come from his wife.
Mazetti said that for the past two years, he had now working on a novel. “I’m trying to try to dive within myself and do the slower thing,” he said. “These things you spend half a day and it’s all over the New York Post, and you spend two years writing a novel… I want to do something else with my life, but it seems like we’re good at this! It’s uncanny how things like this go global.”