The Scandinavian airline SAS has “clarified” an advertisement intended to highlight the role of travel, immigration and cultural diversity in forging the region’s identity after it was pilloried online by far-right and nationalist groups.
The airline, the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, initially withdrew the commercial less than 24 hours after it was released saying the pattern and volume of reactions on social media suggested the campaign had been “subject to an attack”.
It could “not accept being a platform for values we do not share”, the airline said, so had temporarily pulled the campaign. It said later it was proud of the ad’s message and Scandinavia’s heritage and had released a “shorter and clearer” version.
“The experiences we bring back from our travels inspire us as individuals, but also our society,” the company said. “It is regrettable that the film is misunderstood, that some choose to interpret the message and use it for their own purpose.”
The advert says: “What is truly Scandinavian? Absolutely nothing. Everything is copied.” It points out that Swedish meatballs came from Turkey, Danish pastries from Austria, liquorice from China, and progressive politics from Greece.