‘Land of Chlamydia’: Norway angry at 7-Eleven condom ad
Tourists usually imagine Norway to be a land of beautiful fjords and picturesque towns, but a 7-Eleven advertisement for condoms has annoyed the nation's tourism office after it pronounced the country the "Land of Chlamydia."
If the goal of advertising is to get noticed, 7-Eleven has succeeded by creating print and video ads that portray the country as a place riddled with venereal disease. A video posted online shows Norway's famously gorgeous scenery alongside some unexpected words.
"Norway. Land of the fjords, the mountains, the midnight sun, and chlamydia," the text reads. "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."
But the advertising campaign didn't stop there, with the convenience store chain also placing a print ad at Oslo Central Station – the arrival spot of many tourists visiting the country.
"Welcome to Norway! The Land of Chlamydia," the ad reads.
The advertising campaign has ruffled the feathers of Norway's official tourism office. "[This] makes Norwegians seem like uncouth, lewd, sex-mad people," Visit Norway marketing developer Stein Ove Rolland told Dagbladet.
“This is not a good advert for Norway, and as a depiction of Norway and Norwegians it is a disaster,” he added.
However, the ad has been praised by Tore Holte Follestad, assistant manager with the sexual health NGO Sex og samfunn (Sex and Society).
"In 2016, over 26,000 cases of chlamydia were diagnosed in Norway and Norwegians are not good at using condoms. The consequences can be discomfort, irritation and in worst cases it can lead to reduced fertility. Furthermore, you can infect others and become more susceptible to other sexually transmitted diseases,” he told Dagbladet.
7-Eleven has defended the ad, stressing that it did not intend to offend anyone.
“As with all slightly controversial campaigns, there have been both positive and negative reactions. So far, we have seen both types, which is expected when the aim is to get our young target audience to talk about the topic. It was not our intention to offend anyone with this campaign but we do want to create engagement and awareness around this topic,” 7-Eleven press spokesperson Thea Kjendlie told Dagbladet.
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