Blog: Causing offence
Dave Leggett | 8 December 2006
We all make mistakes, say things that we wish we hadn't. We're all fallible, human. There was an odd looking email from Scania's Leif Ostling in my Inbox first thing this morning which was headed 'Scania's CEO apologises'. Short and to the point, it reads:
During Scania’s capital markets day on 6 December I made some comments about Germany that have been interpreted in a way that was not intended.
These statements were never meant to be perceived as offensive, but if that is the case, I deeply regret it and apologise.
President and CEO
Crikey, I thought, what has the poor bloke said to warrant such a public mea culpa? This guy is a Scania legend; has been top dog there for eons; cultured, highly capable and, well, Swedish - what can he possibly have said in a rash moment?
Apparently he likened MAN's hostile takeover bid for Scania to a blitzkrieg. I'm not German myself and if people from Germany really are offended - like the lady below who objected to a sexist promotional campaign - you obviously have to take that on board.
Top marks to Mr Ostling for putting out such a note so quickly to make it absolutely clear that he did not want to cause offence with his remarks. Causing offence is not a good thing. But it does sometimes seem that it is getting more difficult to crack a joke or make a caustic observation of any sort these days.
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