Norway sets $14 mil rehabilitation effort

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[oslo] Norwegian marketers are planning a five-year, $14 million plan to rehabilitate their country's image in Latvia after a TV show on Norway's state broadcaster NRK depicted Latvians as "vodka-swilling Russian Cossacks" and questioned their competence to host this year's Eurosong Contest in May. In a major public backlash, Latvian media and consumer groups called for a boycott of products from Norway, the third largest investor in Latvia. Now Norway's oil company Statoil, retailer Narvesen, supermarket chain Hakon and fashion retailers are discussing a marketing program, including TV and print ads, to win back Latvians. The Eurosong Contest is organized by the European Broadcasting Union and transmitted live to 48 countries and an audience of over 500 million, who vote for the winning country. Incidentally, Norway has Eurosong's worst record, finishing dead last 14 times since the contest, started in 1964.
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