Copenhagen agency that made SAS ad targeted with ‘hoax’ bomb threat

Police in central Copenhagen have now re-opened a road in the city following a bomb threat against an advertising company. The alarm turned out to be false.

Copenhagen agency that made SAS ad targeted with 'hoax' bomb threat
Police bomb disposal responded to what appears to be a hoax threat in Copenhagen on Thursday. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

The advertising company, & Co., received the bomb threat on Thursday morning via email.

Copenhagen Police subsequently blocked off Adelgade, where the firm is located, and later part of Gothersgade.

But the threat appears to have been an empty one.

Shortly before noon, Copenhagen Police confirmed on social media that the cordon of the area had been lifted after no bomb was found.

“This morning we investigated a building in Adelgade in the Inner City following a bomb threat to a company. We did not find anything of interest to police and are concluding work at the location,” Copenhagen Police tweeted.

The company in question, & Co., developed a video commercial for airline SAS which was subject of a fierce backlash on social media on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Why pulled SAS ad has reignited tired 'What is Scandinavian?' debate

After asking “What is truly Scandinavian?”, the video's narrator goes on to say the answer to that question is “absolutely nothing”.

Subsequently, the non-Scandinavian national origins of several things dear to the Nordics are pointed out: including democracy (Greece), rye bread (Turkey), open sandwiches (Netherlands), Danish pastries (Austria), liquorice (China), windmills (Persia), and both cycling and midsummer (Germany). 

The commercial was pulled from SAS’ Facebook and YouTube pages on Wednesday after a backlash from social media users and suspicions of a coordinated cyberattack against the company.

Since then, the airline has stated that it would re-release a “shorter and clearer” version of the video and said that the message of the campaign had been misunderstood.

Following the alert on Thursday morning, police were initially reported to be investigating “suspicious circumstances” in Adelgade. That this was in fact a bomb threat against an advertising company was confirmed subsequently.

“A company has received threats. I cannot go into further detail,” duty officer Henrik Brix said at 8:30am.

Several police patrol cars and a personnel van were sent to the scene. An ambulance and a fire truck were also at the location.

A bomb disposal unit in protective suits also arrived at Adelgade during the morning as police diverted the public from the area.

People who were evacuated from buildings in the area as a result of the incident can now return to their offices and apartments.

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.