Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE Working Paper Series in Economic History,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 2017:4: Party in Business: The Swedish Social Democratic Party's Advertising Venture 1947-1997

Erik Lakomaa ()
Additional contact information
Erik Lakomaa: Institute for Economic and Business History Resarch, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The Social Democratic Party not only ruled Sweden for most of the 20th century; they also owed of one of the country’s largest advertising groups. The company, founded as “Folkreklam” in 1947, later renamed “Förenade ARE-Bolagen” rapidly became the dominant player in outdoor advertising in Sweden, and remained in this position until the late 1980s. This paper covers the history of the company from its inception in the late 1940s to its eventual merger with J C Decaux in the 1990s. Aspects such as governance, strategy and creative development are covered in the paper, and also the importance of the men who ran the company. A central question also covered is why the company lost its leading standing and the Party found it necessary to divest itself of the company. As will be demonstrated the relationship with the ruling Social Democratic party was very beneficial for the company; both when it came to the acquisition of advertising space on billboards and in the public mass transit systems, and for acquisition of customers. During most of the company's active years there were no public tender laws regulating public procurement and Förenade ARE-Bolagen was able to win a number of profitable accounts from government agencies, regions and municipalities without formal competition.

Keywords: Advertising; Business History; Sweden; 1947-1997; Social Democratic Party

JEL-codes: M37; M39; N84

28 pages, November 3, 2017

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Erik Lakomaa ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-01-23 23:32:34.