The Swedish Academy will go to court if car maker Mercedes-Benz doesn’t stop their commercial using a poem of Karin Boye’s, before March 21. But the threat may have no power.

”Our campaign ends already this weekend,” (March 15-16) says Director of Information at Mercedes-Benz, Sverker Dahl. In the new car commercial, actress Lena Endre reads Swedish poet Karin Boye’s perhaps most famous poem ”I rörelse” (”On the Move”) to images of a car driving by. This commercial has made the Swedish Academy see red. Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, writes angrily on his blog that he and the rest of the Academy have let their advocates send letters to the car maker, asking them to immediately stop using Boye’s poem for commercial use.


”Mercedes-Benz has been given until March 21 to withdraw their commercial. Unless this does not happen, we go to court with the reference to the Copyright Act, Section 51,” Englund writes in an email to daily GP. The academy likens the use of Boye’s poem to grave robbery, and that Mercedes-Benz distorts the poem and what the author once stood for. ”What’s next? To use Edith Södergran in order to sell hamburgers, Gunnar Ekelöf selling diapers and Erik Johan Stagnelius floor polish?” Englund believes that even though Boye has been dead for more than 70 years and the copyright laws are thus lifted, is an inadequate defense. Mercedes-Benz however maintains they were given green light both verbally and in writing by the Karin Boye Society for permission to use the poem. ”They were positive and thought it was a great idea,” says Sverker Dahl.

Watch the video on youtube, here: Mercedes GLA Launch video, Sweden The film was created by the agency ANR BBDO.

ANR produced a true winner among video clips earlier in the year, Like a Swede (A Way of Living) (in English with Swedish subtitles) and earlier, in the fall of 2013 Forsman & Bodenfors brought us actor Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Epic Split."