The bag, placed in Lækjartorg square in central Reykjavík, contained the English phrases “Grand Opening” and “See you in Smáralind”, violating a law that prohibits advertisements targeting Icelandic consumers from being in any other language than Icelandic.
The controversy also stemmed from the fact that such a huge advertisement, on a square as important as Lækjartorg, was allowed there in the first place.
According to Bjarni Brynjólfsson, Reykjavík’s public relations officer, the approval for the advertisement was based on a misunderstanding between two offices of the city’s Environmental- and Planning Commission. The city made contact with H&M, explaining the matter to them, finally having the advertisement removed.
H&M opens in two locations in Iceland this year, which has been greatly anticipated, due to being Iceland’s most popular clothing store for a number of years, even though it has never had a single store open in the country before.