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ELECTION 2019

Danish politician takes out election ad on porn site

MP Joachim B. Olsen of the Liberal Alliance party has chosen an unconventional platform on which to reach out to voters.

Danish politician takes out election ad on porn site
A Joachim B. Olsen ad in a more family-friendly setting. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix

Olsen has paid for advertising space on pornography website Pornhub using a slogan which plays on a Danish slang word for masturbation.

The ad, which reads “Når du er færdig med at gokke, så stem på Jokke”, rhymes the word with a diminutive of Olsen’s first name, while encouraging users of the adult site to use their vote. The text is placed next to a picture of Olsen and his party's name and logo.

Olsen, an MP with Liberal Alliance, a junior coalition partner in the current government, confirmed to both Ritzau and Politiken that the ad was genuine.

“I think this is a very funny ad and I hope people will have a good laugh. This general election seems like it could do with a laugh,” Olsen said.

The ad will be shown to users who access the website from Denmark.

“I came up with the idea when we were brainstorming about how to plan our campaign. And I thought, ‘well, half of the internet is porn’,” Olsen said.

“(Adult websites) are a place where many Danes go, whether you like it or not. So I thought they’d laugh when they saw an ad like this,” he said.

Like with other ads, Olsen’s election slogan can be targeted to be seen by people who click on specific categories.

“We have placed ourselves at the soft end. We have tried to reach the area where most Danes are,” Olsen told Ritzau.

The libertarian politician was keen to point out that only a small amount of his campaign budget had been spent on the ads, but that he believed it was money well spent.

“I am convinced that a very, very broad cross-section of Danes look at these sites,” he said.

“But I do think there should be a bit of fun and games in an election,” he added.

Olsen said he had considered a potential negative affect of advertising on the site but that he and his staff both believed it to be a good way to reach voters.

“You can hardly do anything today without offending or upsetting someone, but I’m fine with that, and I’m sure most people will think this is funny,” he said.

Asked how he knew about Pornhub, the MP told Politiken that he was “not so different from other Danes. So yes – I’ve also watched porn in my life.”

A fake election ad, which falsely claims to have been placed by the Alternative party, can be found on the same website.

READ ALSO: Denmark may introduce porn to public schools

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GOVERNMENT

Power shifts in Denmark with the giving of gifts

Transfer of power between governments can be associated with antagonism, ill feeling and tension. In Denmark, it is accompanied by the exchange of gifts.

Power shifts in Denmark with the giving of gifts
Mette Frederiksen hands Lars Løkke Rasmussen his new cycling jersey. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

The quirky tradition was continued on Thursday as Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen took over from predecessor Lars Løkke Rasmussen as head of government.

Tradition in Danish politics dictates that all outgoing ministers, including the prime minister, exchange gifts with their successors on the day portfolios officially change hands.

The gifts, often referred to in Danish as drillegaver (‘teasing gifts’), are normally chosen with an element of humour in mind, while not forgetting to reference political opposition.

As the keys to the PM’s office were exchanged at Christiansborg Palace, the seat of parliament on Thursday, Rasmussen handed Frederiksen a pair of gloves and blue trousers from a set of overalls.

“I’m now handing over a Denmark in top form. And that must be looked after. I know will you do that, Mette,” Rasmussen said.

“One of the keys to achieving that is for us Danes to pull on our working gear,” he added.

In response, Frederiksen gifted Rasmussen, known for his enthusiasm for bicycle racing, a polka-dotted cycling jersey, making reference to his tendency to “break away from the pack” during the election campaign.

“I hope you will be spending a lot more time cycling in future,” Frederiksen joked as she gave her predecessor the jersey.

Also noting that she had probably not seen the last of the Liberal (Venstre) party leader in politics, the new PM had warm words of tribute for Rasmussen, who has served two separate terms as the head of Denmark’s government, from 2009-11 and 2015-19.

She thanked him for a being a decent opponent and for “everything you have done for Denmark”.

Rasmussen, who was not short of joking remarks himself, said he “had a habit of handing over the keys to a Social Democrat”.

After losing the 2011 election, he gave then-Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt his government’s budget repurposed as a handbag, while Thorning-Schmidt gave Rasmussen a bus ticket.

Roles were reversed in 2015, when Rasmussen, having regained power, gave Thorning-Schmidt a selfie stick and received festival tickets in return.

The Danish tradition of giving gifts while handing over power is a modern one, having gradually emerged in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Transition of power used to be very formal,” DR’s political commentator Bent Stuckert told Politiken in 2011. That is evidenced by the below video, which shows Anker Jørgensen making way for Poul Hartling in 1973.

The 2019 version, coming at the end of a long negotiation period to form government, continued Denmark’s overtly friendly approach to handing over the keys to power.

READ ALSO: Here is Denmark's new Social Democrat government

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