VisitDenmark, which is the official Danish tourist agency, has removed a bogus film from the Internet and apologised for its distribution after it transpired that the story behind the viral advertising was untrue and adverse reactions have flooded in.
The story featured on YouTube purported to be a young Danish woman and her baby appealing to find the baby’s foreign father, with whom the woman had had a one night stand. The young woman in the video, however, is a Danish actress and the baby is not hers.
“We deeply apologise that the film has offended a lot of people – that certainly wasn’t the idea. The idea was to create a positive view of Denmark. In order not to continue offending people, we have removed the film from YouTube,” says VisitDenmark CEO Dorte Kiilerich in a news release.
VisitDenmark’s Chairman Georg Sørensen says he is gratified that the video has been removed.
“VisitDenmark’s task is to market Denmark abroad, and it must of course find new and different ways of doing so. When that is done it is important that you are very clear in your communication, otherwise you risk the opposite happening. And that is what has happened here. So I am happy to see that the film has been removed,” says Sørensen.
Prior to taking the decision to remove the video, VisitDenmark defended the gimmick saying it was ‘a good and sweet story about a mature, responsible woman who lives in a free society and shoulders the responsibility of her actions. And she uses a modern social medium’.
The video told the story of a young Danish woman who met a tourist by chance in the Nyhavn area of Copenhagen, introduced him to the Danish concept of ’hygge’ or cosiness. The next morning his side of the bed was empty when she woke up, and nine months later the now one-and-a-half-year-old August appeared on the scene.
Edited by Julian Isherwood