Norway’s nationwide organization representing homeowners, Huseiernes Landsforbund, apologized to the country’s finance minister and withdrew an ad campaign claiming that the Labour-led government had forced Norwegian banks to raise their interest rates earlier this year.
The ads appeared in local media and on posters hung up in Oslo trams, busses and the metro system. They showed Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, both from the Labour Party, huddling and allegedly whispering that “we’ll let the banks take the blame” for an interest rate increase that has angered mortgage payers all over the country.
In fact, Johnsen had criticized Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, for raising its rates on home mortgages, claiming it wasn’t necessary. DNB had blamed the rate hike on new capital requirements. The bank has since reported strong profits and Johnsen has urged it to roll back the rate hike.
Peter Batta of the homeowners’ group has admitted that its ads were factually incorrect and dropped the campaign.The incident came just a week after state dairy conglomerate Tine also had to withdraw an ad campaign that was full of errors regarding Norwegian history.