A social media advertisement, created by Oslo ad agency Morgenstern, was posted at the end of June. It starts off just like a normal tourism ad, highlighting the virtues of Norway’s spectacular scenery, lakes and fjords. Then, about half way through the ad there is an unexpected twist. A young couple embrace on a mountainside and the ad claims that Norway is the land of chlamydia. The ad goes on to urge tourists to “protect yourself from the locals” by buying condoms at 7-Eleven.
It is true that Norway has one of the highest rates for chlamydia in Europe. Still, the ad for 7-Eleven has the Norway tourism board upset. “(This) makes Norwegians seem like uncouth, lewd, sex-mad people,” Visit Norway marketing developer Stein Ove Rolland told local news outlets. “This is not a good advert for Norway, and as a depiction of Norway and Norwegians it is a disaster.”
Torkild Jarnholt, partner at Morgenstern, responded by saying, “When we created the campaign, we were expecting controversy. In fact, we were counting on it for the message to break through–the worst thing that could have happened would be if no one cared. The core of the idea is to make Norwegians feel a slight sting in their national pride, and maybe because of this better their ways and start to use more condoms.”
This ad has gained international notice, even have appeared on a segment of the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. While Norway’s tourism board is furious, the ad has opened up conversations about the use of protection in order to deter the spread of STDs such as chlamydia. In the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the use of latex condoms when engaging in sexual activity
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to chlamydia or any other STD, you should consider having STD testing performed. Many times, an infection will not present signs or symptoms and testing can be the only way to properly detect the infection.Even without symptoms it is still possible to spread an infection to your sexual partner.