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Ellen Hammett 

Swedish billboard hijacked by porn

Swedish billboard hijacked by porn

Photo: Maria Escalante, Aftonbladet.DOOH!

A digital out-of-home billboard in Sweden has been caught red-handed playing "rough" pornographic video clips.

The billboard, located in Malmo Central Station, was reportedly hacked to show several porn clips from Meatspin simultaneously at 15.47 - which members of the public said had been playing for at least 10-15 minutes.

Public transport operator Skånetrafiken told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet it had not received reports of any malfunctions - and that while it had asked its IT team to investigate, the billboard belongs to the City of Malmo and is therefore not their responsibility.

"So far, we regard it as a joke, but if it is so that it has happened that I regret it. It should not be," a spokesperson for Skånetrafiken said.

The City of Malmo's communications officer, Frida Leander, said the billboard is part of testing activities and should only show local information - before passing the blame to Global Agencies, the company in charge, which said it is investigating the "intrusion" into its system.

Out-of-home, the world's oldest advertising medium, is fast making a transition to digital, with digital forecast to account for more than half of all OOH adspend by 2018. However, the news shows that it is not immune to the worst of online.

Mark Jackson, UK managing director at MC&C, said media owners will need to invest in safeguards to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

"As with anything digital, there is always the opportunity to hack; however, there are relatively serious implications with DOOH, as it could provide an attractive platform to those with a cause or agenda and so will be a worry for those in control of this channel," Jackson said.

"Out-of-home is a very effective and popular media choice and I expect it to continue to be so, but media owners must ensure that they invest in safeguards to prevent this happening, and instances like this in Sweden should ensure that it becomes a priority."

Newsline put out multiple requests to the UK out-of-home market to respond to the news, however all declined to comment.

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