2.3 million euros for indoctrination and propaganda

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No, we’re not talking about the French anti-wine campaigns. 2.3 million euro (25 M SEK to be precise) is the budget that the Swedish retail monopoly Systembolaget spends on advertising in a year, according to numbers released at their AGM recently.

But don’t get it wrong, they are not making publicity for wine or spirits. The “advertising” they do is primarily telling the Swedish people how lucky they are to have the Systembolaget monopoly, how wonderful a job they do in making sure Swedes have a muuuch better wine selection than in countries without a monopoly etc etc.

The CEO Anitra Steen says:

“It is important to all the time talk about the mission we have because if people are to continue supporting the monopoly they have to know why we have a retail monopoly, how it works, and what the effects of it are, and that’s what we talk about in our campaigns”.

Every year they make a survey to gauge the support. In the latest one they have just over 60% support for the monopoly, up from less than 50% a few years ago. Is it very remarkable when they spend 2.3 million euro each year on telling people how wonderful they are?

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