Danes pull 'offensive' tourism ad

Jan Olsen
Wednesday 16 September 2009 00:00 BST
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Denmark's tourism agency has removed one of its advertisements from YouTube after complaints that it promoted promiscuity in the liberal Scandinavian country.

The video clip, nearly three minutes long, showed a young, blonde woman cradling an infant called August and saying he was the result of a brief fling with a foreign tourist.

Speaking English in the video, she said she was "trying to find August's father" through Google's YouTube website. An investigation by a Danish telelvision channel clarified that the scene was staged and the woman was an actress.

Karen Sjoerup, a sociologist, said the advert suggested that "you can lure fast, blonde Danish women home without a condom".

Lene Espersen, economy minister who also holds the government's tourism portfolio, said the video presented "a not very well thought out picture of the country". The recording was posted by VisitDenmark last Thursday and before being removed on Monday, it had clocked up more than 800,000 hits on YouTube.

Dorte Kiilerich, the manager of VisitDenmark, initially described the video as the "most effective thing we have ever done to market Denmark" but later offered an apology. "I regret that the film has offended so many people," she said, explaining that the intent was to tell "a nice and sweet story about a grown-up woman who lives in a free society and accepts the consequences of her actions".

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