Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lesson Coming from Iceland


Last year, American Expedition Vehicles (AEV's) Jeeps were photographed climbing some of Iceland's daunting terrain, crossing rivers, ascending Heckla and Katla (volcanoes), and traversing the Snaefelljokull glacier. 

 “AEV is known for building well rounded vehicles that are perfect for long distance traveling and excelling in all types of terrain, so the vehicles we brought to Iceland were exactly that. We wanted to see how these all-purpose vehicles would perform under the harsh conditions of Iceland, and they performed flawlessly. We also had seven people between the two vehicles, plus all of our gear. Our vehicles performed as expected, allowing us to successfully cross several major glaciers in Iceland, including the Langjokull glacier, the second largest in Europe.”  - David Harriton, CEO, Photography and Product Testing Trip to Iceland, 05 June 2012.

Anyone would easily guess that Harriton had previuosly obtained Iceland's permission to undertake his attention-getting advertising project. News from Iceland (least laconic compared to U.S. news) suggests no differently. What has occured in 2013 is that the AEV advertisement has now been published online, and
yesterday's Icelandic news reported this: 

Illegal activity in an advertisement for American Expedition Vehicles 

Text below the video reads: "Had the pleasure of exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world. I was riding along with American Expedition Vehicles taking some photos and shooting video of their trek through Iceland." 

"...[Unfortunately], ... off-road driving which is illegal." says Andres Arnalds who works at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. He is referring to an advertisement that was shot in Iceland for the company American Expedition Vehicles (AEV).

Andres says that the people responsible will likely be sued. The Environment Agency of Iceland would handle the suit. Iceland is [being] marketed as the country where everything is allowed. Andres says that this is unacceptable. He added that we have to be careful when it comes what kind of tourism we want in Iceland.  Andres says that a lot of damage can be seen around the country, because of off-road driving like is shown in the advertisement. (The Advertisement can be seen at bottom of this off-road driving link). 


The Lesson

Will Icelandic officials be successfully sued?  It probably will not take as long as in U.S. courts to ascertain the answer.  Iceland is a small, pristine, and relatively well-managed country.  M.E.'s first guess would be that such a lawsuit will never be brought, or it will be quickly dismissed. However, if the damage Andres refers to above is irreperable or an eyesore, Iceland may have an enforcement dilemma with off-road vehicles driven by Hells Angels, established in Iceland since 2011. 


This kind of advertisement is becoming trite. In M.E.'s opinion, the AEV video's best feature was the song Your Bones with Of Monsters and Men.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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