Creative Finland MeToo

Finnish newspaper makes line of ugly Christmas jumpers depicting ugliest news topics


By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

December 11, 2018 | 4 min read

The ugly sweater trend around Christmastime has become a full-blown tradition. And now, a Finnish newspaper is now turning the seasonal garment into something more than a kitschy fashion statement.

Ugly Truth Sweaters

The Ugly Truth sweaters highlight the ugliest headlines of the year

Helsingin Sanomat, one of the largest newspapers in the Nordics, has launched a series of ugly Christmas jumpers depicting the year’s ugliest news topics.

While the designs on the limited-edition sweaters are garish enough, the ugliness in the #uglytruthsweaters is due mostly to the subject matters presented. The series depicts some of the past year’s ugliest news topics: climate change, plastic in our oceans, war, sexual harassment and technological manipulation.

Introduced under the tagline “The truth may be ugly, but it never goes out of style”, the collection reminds people that there is no matter that journalism should turn a blind eye to.

“Truth is the cornerstone of journalism, no matter how ugly it is," said Kaius Niemi, the paper’s senior editor-in-chief, in a release. "We can't shy away from topics that are difficult, in your face or hard to swallow.

That's why this Christmas we are wearing them on our sleeve, literally. It is our responsibility to bring these matters into the public consciousness and keep them there as long as they remain unsolved."

The sweaters will accompany a set of articles published in Helsingin Sanomat that look at each subject in detail. They will also be sent to a number of people who have contributed to resolving each matter, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari and #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke.

The highly limited collection of 100% woolen sweaters was produced locally in Finland, in the small town of Lieto.

The ugly truth sweaters are not the first time Helsingin Sanomat has taken a stand for important matters. Last summer, in an act to defend freedom of the press, the paper welcomed presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to 'the Land of Free Press' ahead of their Helsinki Summit.

A series of outdoor ads spread out on the presidents’ route displayed the paper’s past headlines regarding both leaders and their relationship with the media.

As with the ‘Land of Free Press’ campaign, Helsingin Sanomat cooperated with TBWA\Helsinki for the sweater designs.

The agency’s chief creative officer, Jyrki Poutanen, sees the campaign as a natural continuation to the summer campaign.

“Helsingin Sanomat has an established strategy in acknowledging its role and relevance in society with these kind of statements," he said. "It is a counterpower to indifference, be it towards press freedom, climate change or war.”

See images by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

Helsingin Sanomat: Ugly Truth Sweaters by TBWA

By Helsingin Sanomat

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