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Scandinavian Airline Removes ‘Self-Hating’ Ad After A Day Due To Backlash
By Thanussha Priyah, 13 Feb 2020
Video screenshot via SAS - Scandinavian Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines, also known as SAS, had to pull down its advert titled What is truly Scandinavian? after facing online backlash.
The advert debunks various aspects of the region’s culture like Swedish meatballs, Danish pastries, licorice, and even the humble paperclip, that were originally from elsewhere.
The spot describes that Swedish meatballs originated from Turkey and Danish pastries are, in fact, Austrian. It furthers that licorice belongs to the Chinese, while the paperclip comes from the Americans.
“What is really Scandinavian? Absolutely nothing,” the commercial declares. “In a way, Scandinavia was brought here piece by piece by everyday people. We found the best of our home away from home.”
The advert was withdrawn the next day, as an online hate campaign had ensued. The airline also said it was the subject of an “online attack” and that it was hijacked by online groups, forcing it to pull down the ad for the time being.
Lawmakers in the Danish People’s Party weren’t pleased with the advert, stating that it discredited the Danish culture, and even requested the Danish government to take action as it holds a 14-percent stake in the airline.
Richard Jomshof, secretary of the populist Sweden Democrats, remarked on Facebook, “What nonsense and self-hatred. Always tried to fly with SAS, but never again. That’s a promise.”
Despite criticisms, the SAS continues to stand by the message behind the advert: “travel enriches us.”
[via BBC, cover image from SAS - Scandinavian Airlines]
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