Grocery Chain's Shock Ad Campaign Criticized
An outdoor media campaign featuring what appeared to be a deleted expletive raised controversy in Tallinn this week, with some suggesting it was too vulgar an attention-getter.
The ads appeared to be the Estonian for an obscene version of "get lost" and gave no indication as to the identity of the advertiser. Some, like Estonian Newspaper Association director Mart Raudsaar, assumed it had to with approaching local elections in the fall. A similar shade of green is often used by the Center Party.
In fact the "Mine p***i!" meant "go to the store" and was to be the first phase in an ad campaign by ETK, an association of consumers' cooperatives that is the largest grocery store chain in the country.
ETK's marketing director Andres Lember confirmed to Postimees that it was a teaser ad.
After the Consumer Protection Board contacted ETK, Lember said that the company decided to run the second phase of the campaign - "Mine poodi! Nii head hinnad!" earlier than planned.
ETK had not done anything wrong by law - in fact it would have had up to 15 days after the publication of the anonymous first part to reveal its identity.
But for some, like Raudsaar, the stunt was simply "lame." He compared it with an apocryphal story of Pushkin walking into a room full of high society people, dropping an F-bomb, then after a dramatic pause elaborating it was an acronym for a pleasantry. "That Soviet joke is funny because Pushkin is in it, with anyone else it would just be lame."