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VisitDenmark video hoax prompts backlash

LONDON - A video uploaded to YouTube by a single Danish woman seeking the father of her baby has been revealed as a digital marketing campaign by the country's tourism authority.

VisitDenmark's spoof video

VisitDenmark's spoof video

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The video (below) shows the woman named Karen, holding a baby named August, telling the viewer she is searching for the child's father. The baby, the actress says, was the result of a one-night stand with a tourist; she can't remember his name and is now searching for him through the YouTube video.

The clip was viewed by close to one million people in four days, eliciting many sympathetic comments. It was supported by a website hosting 'family photos' of the woman and the baby.

However a local newspaper has revealed Karen is Danish actress Ditte Arnth Jørgensen, and the clip is a publicity stunt by tourism agency VisitDenmark.

The clip was removed following the revelation after an enormous viewer backlash promoted hundreds of derogatory comments. It also spawned dozens of spoofs and responses by men claiming to be the child's father.

Dorte Kiilerich of VisitDenmark told Danish TV the video is the "most effective thing we have ever done to market Denmark".

She said by producing the video the tourism body had shown Denmark as a place where women live in a  free society able to make their own choices.

"This is a good, sweet and really harmless story and it's not unusual to sell false stories when you communicate," said Kiilerich .

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

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