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Danish surgeon’s boob ads cause Swedish fuss

A Swedish politician is upset about a "degrading" Malmö breast enlargement advert from a Danish clinic that has been running fully naked ads on Danish city buses for seven years.

Danish surgeon's boob ads cause Swedish fuss
If the Swedish politician is upset by this ad, his head might explode if he sees a Copenhagen bus. Photo: Rasmus Ling
In the Copenhagen area, nearly everyone knows about the Nygart plastic surgery clinic. Sure, they might not know the name. But they know the work. 
 
Nygart has been running ads on public buses in Copenhagen since 2007 that feature a pair of surgically-enhanced breasts without a thread of clothing to obscure the surgeon’s fine work. Although the ads have led to spirited public debate in the past, they have remained a mainstay and now hardly raise an eyebrow with the natives. 
 
But across the Øresund, as so often seems to be the case, things are viewed a bit differently. 
 
An advertisement for Nygart’s newly-opened clinic in Malmö has at least one Swedish politician up in arms, even though the ad’s fully-clothed model is far tamer than the clinic’s Danish bus ads (to say nothing of the video stunt the clinic pulled that featured a naked woman strutting through Copenhagen – see it here).
 
While the Malmö ad, which features a scantily clad woman advertising the clinic’s special introductory offer on breast implants, has mostly just turned heads among the Swedes, Malmö politician Rasmus Ling of the Green party has slammed it as being “degrading” to women, telling The Local that he was appalled by the flesh friendly advert.
 
"It's degrading. The advert sends out a message to all women who pass that they should change their bodies with a risky operation. It's not a procedure for medical purposes, just to please a cosmetic motive," said Ling. 
 
The tax policy spokesperson for the Greens was particularly annoyed that the adverts were on display in the main train station as it is run by the state owned Jernhusen organization.
 
"Travellers shouldn't have to see such adverts. What this advert is saying to women is 'if you don't look like me, then you should change yourself to look more like me.' If people want to find information about cosmetic surgery there are plenty of other places to do so." 
 
Jernhusen, which also runs train stations in Stockholm and Gothenburg, have stated that the adverts comply with Swedish regulations and that they had no intention to censor it.
 
"Plastic surgery isn't an illegal enterprise and should reasonably have the same right to market its services as any other company would," Ann Hermansson, marketing manager of Jernhusen told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper.
 
Nygart clinic’s owner, Jesper Nugart, said the Swedish politician’s reaction to the advert was over the top. 
 
"In Denmark the breast is completely naked. The next step is to advertise like that in Sweden too," Jesper Nygart told Sydsvenskan.
 
In addition to the clinics in Copenhagen and Malmö, the Nygart group also has locations in Lyngby, Aarhus and Odense. 

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TOURISM

Danes flout travel advice to visit Swedish summer houses

Kirsten, a Dane from Copenhagen, has been spending her weekends at her wooden holiday house in the Skåne countryside throughout Denmark's lockdown -- and to the irritation of Swedes barred from travelling in the other direction, she is far from unusual.

Danes flout travel advice to visit Swedish summer houses
Kirsten enjoying coffee on her terrace in Skåne. Photo: Richard Orange
“We chose not to follow the government's recommendation because we thought we have important things to do here and we don't socialize with our neighbours at this moment,” she explains when The Local visits her at her house near the village or Rörum in the Swedish holiday district of Österlen. 
 
“So we get out of Copenhagen and we stay at our own house and in our garden and don't talk to anyone. So we're even safer here than in Copenhagen.”
 
She points out that the head of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm, had said from the start that closing borders had been a “political” decision, which had not been recommended by health experts.  
 
Since Denmark closed its borders on March 14th, Danish residents  have officially been advised not to cross the border into Sweden unless it is “strictly necessary”, even if the latest advice from the foreign ministry is that they do not need to quarantine. 
 
When Denmark opened the border to tourists from the Nordic countries on June 18th, it left every county in Sweden apart from Västerbotten off its list of “open regions”, meaning the travel advisory for Danes still applies to Skåne. 
 
The updated guidelines on July 4th expanded the list of Swedish “open regions” to Blekinge and Kronoberg. 
 
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But crossing the Øresund Bridge and driving out to southeastern Skåne been part of Kirsten and her husband's weekly ritual since they bought the house 15 years ago, and it's easy to see why they would be reluctant to leave the house and its beautiful garden untended. 
 
“I have to take care of my kitchen garden and my greenhouse,” she says pointing to an area — fenced in to keep out deer and wild boar — which is brimming with strawberries, rocket and unusual varieties of cabbage. 
 
“It would be two or three times as expensive to buy a home in Denmark,” she adds. “We come here all year round, so it's not just a summer house for us.”
 
For most of the lockdown period, no one really seemed to mind that Danes were visiting their holiday houses in Skåne and Småland. It was only when the lockdown was being slowly lifted that the sentiment suddenly changed. 
 
“They changed the rhetoric when one Sunday it took two hours to pass the bridge. And we were in that queue. And suddenly all hell broke loose in Denmark and everything was on the news and in the newspapers and companies had to send out new regulation warnings to their employees,” she says. 
 
“But before that, there was no problem. And we still see a lot of Danish cars on the streets and we know other Danes who also have chosen not to follow the regulations.” 
 
 
The couple nonetheless mostly kept their weekly trips secret. 
 
“I didn't tell anyone in the beginning,” she explains. “We have a doctor in the family that that could lose their job if they do not follow the recommendations.” 
 
She doesn't think that the flurry of newspaper article about Danes flouting the government's advice has had any impact on the number of Danes she sees crossing the bridge and back over the weekend. 
 
But some people have clearly stopped. At the nearby port of Ystad, Mia and Rune are taking the ferry to holiday in Bornholm rather than visiting their summer house near the Swedish city of Kalmar, as they have decided to follow the Danish government's recommendations.
 
“I have to follow the orders from Denmark, of course, but I think it's kind of funny that I can go to Bornholm, but I cannot go to my summer house in Sweden which is out in the countryside,” she said. 
 
“It's a little silly,” her husband adds. “If we can go the other way, they should be able to go our way as well.”
 
But Kerstin suspects that many of the cars she sees leaving Copenhagen on Fridays are not simply using Sweden as a bridge to cross over into Bornholm. 
 
“And if they are all going to Bornholm, some of them are taking a big detour because they head straight off on the road to Stockholm!” she laughs. 
 
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