#144 Norway not amused by 7-Eleven?

Scandinavians are definitely not prude, and they do have a sense of humor. Nonetheless, Norway – the country that’s ranked among the happiest nations globally – may not have appreciated 7-Eleven’s most recent attempt at being funny and socially responsible. In an ad campaign across Norway, 7-Eleven proclaimed “Welcome to Norway” and “Welcome to the Land of the Midnight Sun”. The images used in the campaign show picturesque scenes of Norway magnificent fjords or, in one case, a young, blonde, smiling couple in traditional Norwegian national dress. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, except that the subtitle on the posters read “Welcome to the Land of Chlamydia”. In TV ads, 7-Eleven elaborated ““Norway. Land of the fjords, the mountains, the midnight sun, and chlamydia. Norway has one of the highest rates of chlamydia in Europe. Visiting from abroad? Protect yourself against the locals! Get your condoms at 7-Eleven.” It is a fact that with 488 cases per 100,000 population, only the UK, Sweden, and Denmark have more cases of the sexually transmitted disease, but it’s still inconceivable how the ad would be appealing to either visitors or residents of Norway? Tourist boards across the nation who are dedicating their entire existence to the attraction of foreign guests weren’t exactly delighted. The organization Visit Norway has slammed the campaign by saying that it portrays Norwegians as ‘uncouth, lewd, sex-mad people’. 7-Eleven may have applied some logic in designing this campaign and while it may actually increase impulse buys and help raise public health awareness, it probably wasn’t good for long-term brand building in Norway. Then again, some people might say that all press is good press.


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