Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, has stated the controversial campaign ad was created by marketing professionals and that he personally is focusing on the “substance of politics”. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


A CONTENTIOUS CAMPAIGN AD of the Finns Party has been pulled from the cinemas of Finnkino.

The Finnish cinema chain announced yesterday it will discontinue screening the ad at its cinemas across the country on Tuesday, emphasising that it defends tolerance, democracy and freedom of speech and approves of neither racism nor discrimination.

The cinema chain had come under considerable pressure to pull the 30-second ad that depicts an assault against a security guard by what appears to be the embodiment of public anger and portrays ruling policy makers as crooks, according to Iltalehti. The ad also features Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the populist right-wing party.

The ad campaign was launched last week, but it did not become the focus of public attention until the emergence of reports of an attempted attack against Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini (BR).

Finnkino had previously responded to demands to pull the ad by reaffirming its non-partisanship and pointing out that it is screening campaign ads by all parties that have bought a slot for advertising.

Touko Aalto (Greens) accused the cinema chain of shunning its responsibility.

“The threat of political violence is hanging above us as an increasingly dark cloud,” he commented on Facebook. “If a party is actively fomenting hate or even political violence, it must not be tolerated and the ad must not be considered an ad among others.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi