Dutch Euro 2012 advert riles Ukrainians

Dutch Euro 2012 advert riles Ukrainians

THE HAGUE - Agence France-Presse
A Dutch television commercial urging women not to let their husbands loose on the Euro 2012 cup because of the beautiful women awaiting them there has ruffled feathers in the Ukraine.

Ukrainian ambassador to the Netherlands, Olexander Horin, said yesterday he will ask Dutch Energy Company NLE to remove the 25-second spot which he said was a latent appeal not to visit his country -- and sent the wrong image. 

“I’m anxious and dismayed that it could send the wrong image, the wrong image to the Dutch people and also to the Ukrainian people, who are waiting to give their hospitality to Euro 2012 visitors,” he told AFP.

“I will ask the company to remove the commercial from television: it’s a latent appeal not to visit Ukraine and the Euro 2012,” he added.

The advert starts off with a women -- possibly a Dutch wife -- doing a Google search and clicking in images listed under “Ukrainian women.” A series of images of young women in skimpy underwear and suggestive positions then pop up.

The advert subtitled “keep them at home” shows the wife clicking on another website to buy a do-it-yourself beer tap, before closing the computer as her husband watches a football match in the background.
But Harald Swinkels, NLE’s chief executive, dismissed the Ukrainians’ concerns, saying it “obviously played on humour and cliches”.

“It’s only an advertising campaign by a Dutch company, broadcast in the Netherlands: it’s not going to stop people from going to the Ukraine,” he told AFP, saying it will be aired on television for the next eight weeks.
Swinkels declined to say how much the commercial cost NLE, the country’s largest independent energy supplier.

Calling the Ukrainian ambassador’s reaction “disproportionate”, Swinkels was to meet Horin in Rotterdam on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

“I want to explain to him why we made the spot, why it’s funny and why it does not stop people from going to the Ukraine,” he said.

Euro 2012 kicks off on June 8 in Warsaw and ends with the final on July 1 in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.