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Absolut Prostitution? – Vin & Sprit pulls ad campaign in Germany

>> Saturday, November 25, 2006

The state owned Swedish spirits giant V&S Vin & Sprit, with its immensely successful Absolut brand, recently launched an ad campaign in Germany that showed a sultry red lipstick impression with a silhouette of a bottle of Absolut between the lips. The headline said “Absolut Herbertstrasse”. Herbertstrasse is a street in Hamburg that, similar to Reeperbahn (which is a parallel street) is known for its prostitution. Various press sources have reported that the head office in Sweden decided to pull the campaign when commentators in Sweden saw it as an indirect support for prostitution. Particularly embarrassing since Sweden was very vocal in protesting against prostitution in Germany during the football world cup. Commentators from Vin & Sprit say that they have cancelled the campaign but that the German organisation cannot understand what the fuzz is about. Read "Absolute Hypocrisy" on The Local.

2 comments:

Ryan November 27, 2006 9:15 PM  

I wonder if there was a backlash to it, or Absolut's executives decided it was a bad idea after the fact. As you know, "sex sells," buts its a very fine line that marketing companies have to walk. They seemed to have crossed the line with this one.

Per & Britt November 27, 2006 9:34 PM  

Well, Maverick(?), according to reports, the reaction came from people in Sweden (whether that was V&S employees/management, journalists, the public or something else we don't know). And the ad agency in Germany who did the campaign supposedly is shaking their head and don't understand. Curious. Absolutely curious.

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