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No eros please, we’re Icelandic

One of the most bizarre news items of recent days is the one about how Icelandic authorities have refused to take the cider Tempt into sale because they feel the packaging is too lascivious.

Cover your eyes, children!

Certainly the Tempt Cider people clearly have a fondness for burlesque, and of course using sex in marketing commonplace products is always a bit dodgy in my opinion.

However, while I applaud the Icelandic authorities for banning strip clubs [and NO I do not want to have THAT discussion] I really don’t know what to think about this one.

Frankly, I’m a little surprised that the Icelanders, who have traditionally been known for their no-nonsense approach to sex and sexual conduct, are leaning so heavily towards the puritanical in this matter.

What do you think?

[pic nicked from Eyjan.]



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tom Harper July 22, 2010, 11:29 pm

    Sounds extremely bizarre and un-Icelandic. I feel like there has to be more to this story.

  • hildigunnur July 22, 2010, 11:42 pm

    well remember Heilagur Papi, from Ölvisholt brewery – that was too much for the powers that be in ÁTVR too. Might offend the ultra Christians!

  • JimJones July 22, 2010, 11:56 pm

    See? I knew it! I knew it! It’s because Icelanders are never nude and don’t have sex, EVER!

    The skinny dipping scene was definitely propaganda. The Oprah thing, at least 1/4 of the movie “Reykjavik 101”, all of it was made up. Iceland is really a Puritan country where people reproduce via genetic technology like in that movie Gattaca. I knew there was something fishy when I noticed that all the people were physically perfect.

    Yeah, I totally feel vindicated now.

    I’m also 100% kidding, by the way. In all seriousness, I bet someone somewhere in the government got a bad case of, “Oh no, what about the children!?!?” and/or thought that if banning strip clubs was good, then banning this would be super good.

  • Virgile July 23, 2010, 12:40 am

    this is true that having Ásdís Rán on every magazins cover in Iceland is better

  • Kevin O'Connor July 23, 2010, 12:55 am

    I have obviously been exposed to too much material as the above pictures as I thought the title of the Blog post was ” No euros please we’re Icelandic”, going blind at 49 yrs old,my sad past catches up on me ha ha ha.

  • R.L. Dogh July 23, 2010, 1:30 am

    As long as we keep our feet on the ground and our eyes on labels and don’t go up in the air, we might not notice what the space-aliens see when they look down on the mall we are looking for erotic labels in…

  • Rik Hardy July 23, 2010, 2:30 am

    I think Icelanders do indeed have a no-nonsense approach to sex and sexual conduct.
    The “authorities” you mention, who are trying to be our puritanical aunties, are merely ordinary Icelanders, not 1984-type military dictators (at least not yet…), and, in a country this size, it ought to be easy enough to keep track of who they are.
    I would take all this with a pinch of salt, but I’m keeping an eye on those aunties – they can be real bitches once they get a whiff of power…

  • Natalie July 23, 2010, 3:10 am

    I don’t know what to think about this either, but honestly, theres nothing wrong with it. Marketing says “sex sells” and it does. (how do you think Madonna got famous.)

  • Michael T July 23, 2010, 4:55 am

    It’s true, we’re all Americans now.

  • Joerg July 23, 2010, 8:16 am

    I would have expected to find this kind of rigorism and puritanism in countries with strong religious fundamentalism. I wasn’t aware that Iceland falls into this category.

    How did it happen that the pool scene with nude people taking a bath in a natural hot spring in the promotional video by Inspiredbyiceland slipped the attention of the rigorous Icelandic censors?

  • Michael Lewis July 23, 2010, 9:19 am

    Looking at the evidence before me, it seems ‘Tempt Cider’ is being banned for “half a cheek”, which seems bizarre. As I flew back yesterday, one item of advertising did catch my attention, that of Laugar Spa – hmmm… the rather lovely looking lasses on the front – in tight swimsuits – if my memory serves me correctly – seemed to be more sugggestive than Tempt Cider. Not that I minded particularly, I think neither is overtly sexual, the cider is as you say burlesque, bit bawdy, but wouldn’t say sexual in nature at all.

  • Frank Lynch July 23, 2010, 9:57 am

    You tend to find when elites build up a power base that they will use it to promote their own prejudices and personal tastes, passing it of as the ‘common good’: as with the Victorians; so with the ”elf ‘n’ safety’ lot and now with the whip me, I’ve let the last government spend too much on public services. They’re generally middle class busybodies whose strictures seldom affect themselves.

    Frank Lynch.

  • Sue July 23, 2010, 11:23 am

    I don’t even think that would be banned in the US (they are wearing bathing suits!). And that’s saying something.

  • Andy July 23, 2010, 12:14 pm

    It’s far more likely that someone didn’t get the necessary kickback or that to allow the import of this cider would step on the financial toes of somebody’s brother/sister/aunt/uncle/son/dottir. Iceland is a corrupt society but not a prudish one.

  • Easy July 23, 2010, 12:20 pm

    I would say the problem here is the conection this product makes with sex or sexuallity I belive the authories, don’t want the “kids” to get the subliminal message that “party, alcohol and sex go perfectly togather” and I don’t think there is something wrong with the authorities aproche, I belive Icelanders are not afraid of sex or sexuallity by the contrary, but they should be about irresponsable sex, because it brings about STDs and unwanted pregnancies, and I think the main reason here is exactly that, we have our great share of teenage single mothers that cost the state(tax payers) a fortune so if they can dissociate alcohol and party time with ending up in somebodys bed and knocking her up or beeing knocked up, they might save alot of money in walfare, and with all the budget cuts and desperation to save money I wouldn’t be surprise if this is the real reason behind this.

  • Rik Hardy July 23, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I think Frank and Andy have it about right.
    Our teenage single mothers are not going to be influenced by an advertisement for a can of alcoholic apple juice with a medieval drawing of somebody’s bottom on it.
    I doubt our teenagers would even look at one while they are busy getting pregnant – I mean, it’s not like the can has either sex-educational material on it or even warnings for our young daughters… Nothing worthy of attention at all, in fact. Just, “Oooh, look! – A bottom!”
    Come on, folks; life’s too short.

  • hildigunnur July 23, 2010, 12:59 pm

    I think we shouldn’t take this as a sign of normal Icelandic mentality, nor do I think the corruption sticker fits – I’m pretty sure it’s just a misguided so-and-so, working somewhere near the top of ÁTVR (State monopoly for alcohol and tobacco).

    The kid argument doesn’t hold water, those drinks were to be sold only to ppl over 20 years old.

  • hildigunnur July 23, 2010, 1:04 pm

    (hmm, this also gave me an idea for a guest post…)

  • Rik Hardy July 23, 2010, 2:58 pm

    Nice free advertising for the Tempt Cider company, though…

  • Easy July 23, 2010, 3:15 pm

    Do you really, really, belive that kids under 20 in Iceland don’t buy alcoholoc beverages?? or that very few of them do???

    Subliminal messages: are words, images, or sounds that might appear in television or radio commercials, TV shows or movies, print ads or recorded music. Usually when subliminal messages are seen or heard, they’re not recognized for what they are. In fact they may be ignored by the conscious brain and be beyond the level of conscious perception. Subliminal messages are perceived by the subconscious or unconscious mind. Since the conscious mind doesn’t have time to rationalize or analyze these messages, people might more easily accept them.

  • David July 23, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Yuk! Strawberry and lime flavoured cider deserves to be banned!

  • Gunnar July 23, 2010, 3:31 pm

    “However, while I applaud the Icelandic authorities for banning strip clubs [and NO I do not want to have THAT discussion] I really don’t know what to think about this one.”

    Aren’t the two are the same? Government representatives are deciding what’s best for us based on their views, which I’m not convinced are else than reactionary and based on hearsay. We can leave out all discussion of strip clubs, but I’d like if we discussed why these handful of people feel and act like they are our moral compass?

  • Rik Hardy July 23, 2010, 4:08 pm

    No, of course kids under 20 buy alcoholic drinks – a lot.
    But they don’t need the alcohol to get pregnant.
    They get pregnant because they are careless about life, and that has deeper roots in our society than the availability of naughty drinks.
    Personally, I’d like to see strong alcohol banned everywhere, but then I don’t drink it, so my impartiality is compromised.
    But I really think some basic philosophy needs to be reintroduced into our elementary school life.
    2,000 years ago, Plato actually proved that living a truly human life on pretexts other than utter selfishness works better for all human beings, whether as individuals or as a civilization.
    But who cares today?
    So, on the one hand, we have the deliberately careless, and, on the other, we have Frank’s busybody hypocrites, while neither group has much to recommend itself.
    We need to get our own personal common sense back. It’s out there somewhere…

  • Pétur July 23, 2010, 4:31 pm

    I’d like to think of myself as a moderately open-minded Icelander and what bothers me about this case is the fact that some nameless holier-than-thou committee has the power to tell some vendor “we don’t like the look of your product. Change it or go out of business!” It’s not like the vendor has any choice in the matter – ÁTVR is a monopoly. If you can’t sell your product there – that’s it, you’re done!
    It’s just absolutely amazing and saddening that something like this can happen in Iceland in the year 2010. We still have a long way to go to become a “normal nation”.

  • sylvia hikins July 23, 2010, 5:45 pm

    Who are these ‘Icelandic Authorities’? Do you have a legitimate committee that meets to censor things??? If so, who is on it and how do they make the decisions? Sounds like you need some accountability and transparency. Make a fuss about it. The decision is ludicrous.
    sylvia from viking wirral.

  • Easy July 23, 2010, 7:27 pm

    I think there are MANY other decisions the ‘Icelandic Authorities’ are making, which really are putting our liberties in jeopardy, aahh! “but don’t mess with my alcohol with sexy pictures” that is just crossing the line.

  • marcvdb July 23, 2010, 10:40 pm

    Maybe you should look at who owned the import rights to this particular drink. And who is importing the competition. When something is ‘odd’ there usually is something more to be told to the story.

  • Kevin July 24, 2010, 4:09 am

    I’d suggest that these might be some of the “back room” conditions of EU membership and/or IMF austerity. While the oligarchs revel in their private bacchanals, they want to keep the surfs and peasants more restricted. Puritanical Moral codes have always been a way to control the populace. The energy of sexuality is very powerful and they want to control it. Of course, as with all things, repression leads ultimately to illness, chaos and seething unrest. Oligarchs have never understood this because they themselves are ethically crippled and supremely ignorant about human nature. They tend to view people and society mechanistically. It never works, except perhaps for brief periods of time.

  • hildigunnur July 24, 2010, 10:12 pm

    Easy, not at all, but the kids when they start buying their alcohol have seen tons of erotic stuff already – so it doesn’t matter. I think the “kid” argument means children under 12 or something.

    Pretty happy about my 18 year old not being the least interested in drinking – but she’s got a steady boyfriend…

  • hildigunnur July 24, 2010, 10:14 pm

    and again – I’m almost positive this doesn’t come from higher up than some prudish person on the board of ÁTVR. No use nor need to read more into it than it is.

  • Larsson July 25, 2010, 3:08 pm

    As the child of an alcoholic rendezvous I entreat all to remember that babies are babies and not just statistics dragging down the state’s bottom line.

  • rob July 25, 2010, 10:08 pm

    I find the banning of the strip clubs a sad thing that people are starting down the slippery slope of censor ship, and the loss of freedom of expression.