A Swedish underwear company is being labeled tone deaf and insensitive after an ill-advised publicity stunt.
Björn Borg (a brand owned by the famous tennis player of the same name) “love bombed” the country of North Korea with 450 pairs of pink underpants. The company called them “weapons of mass seduction.”
It was all part of a stunt where customers voted on the country “in most need of love and seduction.” Partially fueled by a reported 100,000 votes from South Korea, the communist nation won.
An undercover journalist was hired to infiltrate the country and drop the undies from her balcony.
Not according to Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Here’s what he told NK News
Björn Borg’s idea that North Korea’s problem is that it’s a “sexual cold spot” in need of “weapons of mass seduction” denotes poor judgment, to say the least.
North Korea continues to be a fairly conservative society when it comes to openly talking about love or sex. A foreigner handing out underwear was certainly a bizarre, if not embarrassing scene, especially if a man attempted to offer underwear to persons of the opposite gender.
He also told the site that the campaign “is another endeavor that is out of sync with North Korea’s reality, that distracts attention away from North Korea’s real issues, and provides more material to those keen on a superficial tabloid-style approach to that country.”
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The company has issued no apology or response to the criticism. Its marketing director, Lina Söderqvist, showed a special level of cluelessness in a statement
We knew that North Korea was going to be a tough challenge. The “drop” in itself, wasn't as spectacular as planned, but when Pyongyang won we had to adapt to the current conditions there. We're proud of our attempt, and that we managed to spread some underwear-love in one of the world's most closed dictatorships.