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Food & Drink

Local hot-dog manufacturer clarifies: We are not promoting Nazism or the Third Reich

By Staff

  • The controversial ad Steinþór Skúlason (right) dismisses ideas the ads can be intepreted as endorsing the notirous Nazi paramilitary organization. Photo/Vísir.

The CEO of the largest hot-dog manufacturer in Iceland, Sláturfélag Suðurlands, dismisses concern over the latest advertising campaign of the company. Some have wondered whether the advertisements which read "I heart SS" might be interpreted as a celebration of the notorious Nazi paramilitary organization the Schutzstaffeln, the SS.

Icelanders eat SS hot-dogs

I heart SS Pylsur

I heart SS Pylsur The ads have been the subject of heated debates on local social media. Photo/Vísir

Sláturfélag Suðurlands, which produces processed meat as well as some other food products, including the Icelandic hot-dog mustard, is known to locals under its abbreviation, SS. Sláturfélag Suðurlands, which translates as South Iceland Slaughterhouse Company, is a producers cooperative, established by farmers in South and South West Iceland in 1907.

The best known slogan of SS is "Íslendingar borða SS pylsur", which translates as "Icelanders eat SS hot dogs".  The hot-dogs served by the downtown hot-dog stand Bæjarins Beztu are made by SS. 

Read more:  Hot dog stand and Reykjavík landmark moved to make way for hotel

Recently the company put up new advertisements in downtown Reykjavík which some fear might cause misunderstanding and confusion among foreign travellers. 

Determined misunderstanding
Steinþór Skúlason, the CEO of SS told the local news site Vísir that these concerns were far-fetched. "It says at the bottom of the ad SS hot-dogs. So, the true meaning should not elude anyone." He stressed that the goal of the campaign had not been to cause confusion or to provoke negative attention, with the hope of generating publicity.

"No. If that had been our goal, we would not have added "SS hot-dogs" to the ad. During the entire process none of us even considered the possibility that someone might see the ads in this way. But, so many things appear to gain momentum on-line. You really need to be pretty determined to misunderstand things to read the ad in this manner."

The CEO added that it was silly to be overly sensitive towards the abbreviation SS. SS had been the abbreviation for Sláturfélag Suðurlands since its founding, and the company was known to Icelanders by its abbreviation. He also added that his initials were SS, as were those of his daughters.

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