Dutch Sheep Complicit in Ad Plot

The New York Times and other outlets are reporting on an ad campaign in the Dutch countryside that is wrapping sheep in ads for an online hotel reservations company, like small, fuzzy versions of wrapped TTC busses. From the Times article:

The company spends 1 euro, or about $1.23 a day, per sheep and sponsors about 144 sheep in flocks throughout the Netherlands. But commercially branded sheep roaming the bucolic meadows of the northern Netherlands have prompted a reaction.

On Saturday, the town of Skarsterlan began fining Hotels.nl 1,000 euros a day for putting branded blankets on sheep. Advertising on livestock violates the town’s ban on advertising along the highways.

“My first reaction was a smile; it is very creative,” said Bert Kuiper, the town’s mayor. “My second reaction is that we have to stop this. If we start with sheep, then next it’s the cows and horses.”

The company’s president Miechel Nagel said “As a company in modern times, you have to take some risks. You cannot be everybody’s friend. Let’s say 25 percent are against this. But we can’t have all the Dutch people as customers.” Europeans are laid-back capitalists it would appear. That sheep doesn’t look pleased, but that might be just its default expression.

I’ve noticed some creative and disturbing ways people get around advertising bans. In London, UK, they hire these poor fellows to hold poles with signs above head level. I would pass some of them when I left in the morning, then more than 8 hours later, pass the same person holding the same sign when I returned.

I wonder if Viacom has thought of outfitting Toronto’s 20,000 racoons with similar jackets. Ads could be directed at the nighttime crowds. Feral cats and stray dogs could be used during the day. The city could take a chunk of the money, and everyone would be happy, except PETA.

One comment

  1. I’m all for Holland being liberal on so many fronts… but, as a Dutch citizen ( now living here in Toronto) I must admit, I’m dearly embarrassed by this. simply redicilous. I did chuckle a bit too, however …

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