Time warp Fazer of Finland: Stereotyping Mediterranean “gigolos” to sell salt licorice

by , under Enrique Tessieri

I was surprised to see Fazer, a Finnish foodservice company, advertising salt licorice on television with the help of a 1980s stereotype of a Southern European gigolo  who speaks Finnish with a me-Tarzan-you-Jane accent. 

Migrant Tales sent an email to Fazer Monday morning about the ad but never got a reply. I did, however, get in touch with the the Mainonnan eettinen neuvosto, an advertising ethics board, which recommended that we sent a complaint to them, which we will.

It’s clear that one of the biggest challenges that migrants face in Finland is tackling stereotypes about them. The most recent television ad by Fazer reinforces stereotypes about one group of migrants.

Fazer has a questionable record on stereotyping different ethnic groups in its products.

Pressure from the Finnish Consumer Agency, EU and Ombudsman for Minorities forced the company to stop using a Golliwog on its licorice brand in 2007. In 2011 it was forced to change the image  on one of its produces that used a stereotyped image of a Chinese man (see below).

Näyttökuva 2014-10-6 kello 12.38.32



Golliwogs on Finnish licorice brands has been a common site since the 1920s…
…and another company continues to flirt with them to this date. This licorice was sold at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

If you feel that this TV commercial by Fazer is offensive, send an email to the company, the Mainonnan eettinen neuvosto or Ombudsman for Minorities.

Another effective way would be to boycott Fazer products.

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