Danish tourism board produces video marketing Denmark as a country with drunk women who have unprotected sex with random tourists

In this video a Danish mother talks about her one-night stand with a foreign tourist. "We met one and half years ago when you were on vacation here. We went back to my house and we ended up having sex," says Karen. It looks real, but Karen is a fictional character played by an actor. The video was produced by VisitDenmark - a tax funded tourist organization.

Why would a tourist agency produce such a video? In Politiken, Dorte Kiilerich, CEO of VisitDenmark explains:

Karen's story shows that Denmark is a free place with space for you to be who you want. The film is good exposure for Danish self-sufficient and dignified women.

Politeken asked Ms. Kiilerich: "Why have you chosen to market Denmark as a country with drunk women who have unprotected sex with random tourists?"

Kiilerich's answer:

"That is not a story that I recognize. We're telling a nice and sweet story about a modern responsible woman, that lives in a free society and takes responsibility for her choices. And she uses a modern and social media."
Danish women as tourist attractions

(This all went down a few months ago, but I just read about it on Sociological Images)


  1. Genius! It worked on me. Copenhagen, here I come!

    Must learn to say “I have lost my friends. Do you want to go down to the water for a drink?” in Danish.

  2. Sounds like a good solution for those “child-free” folks– “Your Kids in Denmark Stay In Demark!”

  3. Wow! That was a close one. If a slighly overweight Irish woman shows up on camera, you’ve never heard of me.

  4. So instead of going to some cookie cutter hotel and being bored on the beach I could be knocking up hot Danish babes? How much are tickets?

    Remember, what happens in Copenhagen stays in Copenhagen!

  5. As a “child-free” person I have no desire to impregnate anyone, on vacation or not. I couldn’t even watch the whole video because it was stressing me out. They may have wanted to frame Denmark as a “free place” but I’m left thinking it’s a sad place filled with desperate single-moms. Like a Maury Povitch paternity test show writ large.

    1. Tough call. Danish women have a lot of options. They can get abortions and they have a lot of support as single moms. They get lots of maternity leave and they get healthcare and childcare options that women in other countries don’t, meaning that being a single mom there is really different then, say, in the US. Also they face different social stigma for being a single mom.

      I still don’t see how this is so great.

      I’d especially hate to see it become a sort of Danish women are all sluts campaign that leads tourists to think that they can grab local women and expect that they are, say, unrapable because they’re such total whores anyway… etc.

      This maybe seems like a social clash between the status of women in Denmark and the status of women in some of the places people might be coming to Denmark from.

  6. This is sort of old news, and caused quite an uproar here in Denmark. Especially since it took a few days, and more than a million views on youtube, before VisitDenmark fessed up. Till then, most people believed it was real.

    And like you guys, most of us don’t want to be portrayed like blonde bimbos that don’t mind being knocked up by strangers. Kiilerich, the CEO quoted in Politiken, left her position a few days after this.

  7. “I have this great idea about an tourist campaign where we really play-up the 99% literacy and zero homelessness!”

    That’s really great but we decided to go with the illegitimate baby and single mom campaign. It tested better.

  8. So, instead of showing the attractions that most tourists look for when visiting another country ( architecture, sightseeing, culture , food, small town attractions , etc) from all that they chose drunk women having unprotected sex with tourists.

    And when the CEO says: “we’re telling a nice and sweet story about a modern responsible woman,” the responsible thing would have been for the woman to provide the condoms or make sure the drunk tourist used one. What about Sexual Transmitted Diseases ( STD )?. Someone responsible cares about their bodies.

    Also, when the CEO says: “Karen’s story shows that Denmark is a free place with space for you to be who you want.” Don’t you want to show how powerful women can be in Denmark?, what kind of jobs they hold, what activities they do?, how does the country motivates its citizens to fully achieve their potential ?. Instead they took the easy way and disclaimed it poorly.

    1. Yeah, it also leaves out completely women tourists.

      As a female, the thought of drunk Danish girls happily exposing themselves to foreign STD and sharing possible some of the local variants is a lot less interesting then, like, well actually just about anything sounds more interesting to me :/

      Are Danish men equally easy?


      1. I agree with your point 100%, and think this ad is disgraceful.

        That said, and speaking as a man,

        Danish men aren’t easy; MEN are easy.

  9. How much tourist spending does it take to cover the cost of supporting a child? I haven’t heard an economic plan so ingenious since “We’ll lose money on every sale, but make it up in volume!”

  10. Anyone know what she’s referring to when she talks about “…the thing we have here called ‘heuga’ that foreign people always ask about…”?

    1. “Hygge” is emblematic of the Danish character and paradigm. It represents their basic value system of creating “cozyness” in life, and in friendships. See point #1.


      I just got back from the Copenhagen climate change conference and can vouch for how rad the Copenhageners are. It’s a special place. Those who are peeved about this video might sit back, take a breath, and think about the fact that the world CAN be a different place. Denmark is poking and prodding new norms of human behavior. I believe this a valuable thing.

  11. I think its almost worth pretending to be this babies father. I mean you’d get a hot blonde, Danish wife and also you get to move to Denmark. I’d help raise a child thats not mine for that perhaps.

  12. Well, it’s still better than “Paraguay: Plenty of Beautiful Parks in Which to Surreptitiously Masturbate!”

  13. I protest! Truth In Advertising demands that we get an idea of how cute the guy had to be to make it with this chick! An average, obese, Hawaiian T-shirt wearing guy with a camera? I think not!

    I mean, come on, even Uncle Ernie’s Holiday Camp has some signs saying You must be THIS tall to go on this ride.

  14. @bdgbill, happy to help:

    “I have lost my friends. Do you want to go down to the water for a drink?” =

    “Mine venner er blevet væk. Vil du med ned til vandet og have en drink?”

    Welcome to Denmark,

  15. okay, I totally bought into the video, watching before reading.
    so I’m watching, and I starting to think about homeless kitties and whatnot and all the sudden I’m thinking about the horrible indiscriminate sex I *had* back in the day and that’s making me want to apologize on the guys behalf… but then..
    I realize that this woman has no idea about the concept of the internet… because whoever was hosting her video/address was soon to have a biblical deluge the likes of which could only be backed by a Toto soundtrack.
    Hell, I was about to check my bank statements on the off chances that I might have had an alcoholic blackout around the same period and somehow slipped through a wormhole, just to imagine I was once in the same league with this woman.

  16. As has probably already been mentioned, Dorte Kiilerich was sacked a few weeks after it was discovered that the video was part of a viral campaign. Which was stupid imo. Clearly it generated a lot of attention, and people need to learn that odd stuff on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt.

  17. I totally fell for it when it ran on You Tube. It still bugs me that it was all a fake, I mean, she is just such a sweet girl, isn’t she … The head of the tourism board, the one who OK’d the ad, lost her job, btw.

  18. Re: #25, the truth about women in Denmark via Oprah: That show and that article is so full of errors it aint even funny. For instance, people don’t ride bicycles because they are environmentally savvy. It just makes a helluva lot of traffical (not to mention economic) sense, especially since we’ve got bikepaths everywhere. Homelessness, poverty and unemployment are not ‘extremely rare’ – not in this economic climate… And the governmet doesn’t ‘continue to pay up to 90 percent of your salary for four years’ after unemployment. I truly wish they did. But what Oprah is referring to here is private unemployment insurance. Etc. Etc. The REAL danish woman is actually a lot like the woman in the vid. Welcome to Denmark!

    1. @pgl: It’s definitely a joke. As for getting it, well … it’s one of those “unexpected serious misfit that you nonetheless can imagine some people actually meaning”-things.

  19. “whoever was hosting her video/address was soon to have a biblical deluge the likes of which could only be backed by a Toto soundtrack.”

    Greatest line I’ve seen all week.

  20. *sigh*

    I don’t get how the idea of nailing a foreign chick and leaving her a single mother is a hot tourist attraction? Maybe I am not a shallow ****, and that is why I cannot grasp this as a tourist catch.

    I simply found the whole thing kind of sad. “We had sex, you abandoned me, and I am trying this last ditch attempt to find you to let you know we made a human together in case you care.”


  21. “Hygge” is a word describing a specific atmosphere, personally I always think of having friends over, laughing sitting with blankets in front of the fireplace and having a good time.
    @ pgl #37 – yeah, it’s a joke. You didn’t get the board’s level of humor from the badly concieved viral video? :)
    Generally Denmark has increadibly high standards of welfare, but we have problems like everywhere else. Just not at the same levels as say, USA. We have free health care, free educational systems, great social security, and we’re paid for studying.
    On another note, I get why they did the video – they’ve reached a whole lot of people who probably never knew anything about Denmark, and we all know – bad publicity is better than no publicity. Still, I don’t agree.

  22. Maybe if this had happened in Amsterdam, they wouldn’t have gotten drunk, but rather a little stoned and spent some time talking about the universe and getting to know each other – including their names. Then the next morning they would have remembered what happened and who they were with and the dude wouldn’t have been so hungover that he had to run off to the nearest Cantina serving Menudo at 10 o’clock in the morning with the lame excuse that he had to go look for his passport. Maybe they would have gone out together for an, oh I don’t know, cheese DANISH and some coffee together and exchanged their Twitter accounts and freakin’ KEPT IN TOUCH! Sheesh, the damage caused by alcohol!

Comments are closed.