By Frank James
If it's news to me, I tend to think it might be news to others, although I grant that the story about Danish tourist board's misguided attempt to draw attention to the Scandinavian nation is old by Internet terms. It's so last week.
Still, I only learned of the controversial Danish ad last night so I thought I'd post it. For those who don't know, the Danish tourism agency put up on YouTube a video of a young blonde Danish woman holding a baby, August. She was supposedly seeking the father of the child, a tourist with whom she had a one-night stand.
But the woman was actually an actress playing a role with a borrowed baby. The controversial video got nearly million hits before the Danes took it down on Monday. As many critics pointed out, once the ad's origin became known, it appears the Danish tourism agency was selling the notion that the Danes are a nation of promiscuous women as much as anything else.
A tourism official seemed nonplussed by all the commotion. An excerpt from an Associated Press story:
"I regret that the film has offended so many people," VisitDenmark manager Dorte Kiilerich said, explaining that intent had been 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."
Based on that quote, these Danes sound like world-class political spinners, right up there with their American counterparts.
If Danish tourism officials just wanted to get attention, they've accomplished their mission. A lot of people are probably thinking of Denmark in the past few weeks who hadn't really thought about it since, say, the last time they read Hamlet.
But how do you say "This is ridiculous," in Danish? I would try Babelfish but they don't have an English to Danish as one of their choices.
Anyway, the video has inspired some spoofs: