Behold, this article in the wonderful Swedish daily, Expressen, home of all things mediocre, sensational and mildly embarrassing.
The article is about the latest adventures of the crisis-ridden supermarket chain ICA. They apparently put up a movie on their web site, the latest in a very popular series of soap-opera ads regarding the goings-on at a fictitious store.
In this ad a “help wanted” sign was shown for applying to work in the store, and a phone number was visible. Unfortunately the phone number was a real one, and it wasn’t for an ICA store.
Now I am with the ICA people on this one – what is the problem with putting a phone number on an ad? Surely people will know that an ad is not reality. Surely they will.
Well, apparently not. People called in. Lots of them. And even when it became apparent that the number in question was to an innocent family and not a fictional supermarket, they just kept on ringing.
This really scares me. I mean, you used to hear all these stories about people in the US assaulting “evil” soap-opera stars when they happen to see them in a shop, or on a beach and I always wondered – can there really be people who can function well enough to get up in the morning and put thier shoes on but cannot tell TV from reality?
I guess there are, and not only in the US, but everywhere, even sexy secular Sweden.
However, if I were the family, I would have taken a different tack after call number 2. I would have invited the callers for an interview, and given them the name of one of the head people at the ICA central office. Then he or she could deal with the problem of a thousand frothing-at-the-mouth crazies showing up of a tuesday morning and demanding jobs that don’t exist at stores that don’t exist.
And anyway I bet the family who were “terrorised” are only out after compensation, after having sold their story to the dodgy newspapers. So they probably deserved everything they got, the bastards.