More sex and politicians in Sweden! The land of midnight fun never stops giving in the department of ridiculous sexist scandals in a b-cup.
Just the other day, the company called Panlegis, which sells the shady practice of establishing LTD's in the UK cheaper than it is to establish a limited company in Sweden, was reported to RO (Reklamombudsmannen) för sexist advertising as their holiday ad included a topless santa in a tub with the pun-bastard line "Company for christmas?". Sadly, it's not the terrible pun that's a bannable offense, it's the half-naked santa-girl sitting in a tub, which has nothing to do with the service they are selling. There are so many things wrong with this ad, the pun, the layout, the colors, the image - and who on earth wears hose and heels, but nothing else, in a tub?
Panlegis responded today by reporting Hillevi Larsson right back to RO, says politikerbloggen, and it was because of this image (in full) which is her portrait available on socialdemokraternas site. Yes, there's actual skin showing in that shot, an entire neck and a hint of cleavage. The dress is also quite snug. And she's wearing heels! Call the cops! This woman must be stopped, clearly.
Lets just take a moment to laugh at that for a second. Go ahead. I'll wait. Oh, you're done already?
Yes, it wasn't that funny. By doing their counter-report, accusing Hillevi Larsson using sex to sell, just because she happened to be a real live woman in a dress at the time of her PR portrait, Panlegis bought themselves another mile of sex-in-advertising-debate press (a.k.a cheap PR for companies that have nothing good to say about themselves), whilst showing off their non-skills in actual company guidelines. See, in Sweden the MFL (Marknadsföringslagen) states that all advertising should follow "god marknadsföringssed", that's good marketing guidelines and what they are referring to is the ICC's code of advertising and marketing communication practice, for ethical guidelines, which states; advertisers and marketers should be especially sensitive regarding the possibility that a particular message might be perceived as pornographic, violent, racist or sexist. Like in the way a half naked santa in a bathtub, only appearing in the ad to allow such a horrible pun to exist, can be perceived as sexist.
But what do they know, they're only the International Chamber of Commerce, and it's not like any business begun on a dime at Panlegis would ever grow know what that is. So, in a way, I guess this is advertising that speaks on the same level of their intended audience. It's far more worrying that Panlegis are exposing their non-knowledge whilst selling "legal ways of establishing companies abroad to avoid the Swedish fees". I hope Panlegis read up on the details of how to do that, at least.
This being Sweden, the PR-coup is of course working out really well, never have so many mentions of panlegis appeared all over the blogosphere, and all the people who are currently busy cheering the company on in the comments of various blogposts are adding fuel to the flames, without ever learning the difference between objectifying a woman and portraying a woman.