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This week, Austria’s climate minister, Leonore Gewessler, concocted a highly controversial campaign that involved turning people’s skin into a living advertisement for the country’s Klimaticket ("Climate Ticket").
The incentive, an activation run during two recent weekend music festivals, promised a free Klimaticket—good for one year’s worth of unlimited nationwide transportation via rail, bus, tram or metro—to the first three people who would have themselves permanently tattooed with the word “Klimaticket”.
Six people reportedly took the ministry up on its offer, three at each event. Their ink was done without delay at a pop-up tattoo parlor touting a banner that read “Action that gets under your skin”, the slogan used by One Mobility GmbH, the Klimaticket’s distributor, according to German-language outlet Salzburger Nachrichten.
While the initiative was criticized on social media,Jakob Lambert, Managing Director of One Mobility GmbH, said, “The feedback at the festivals was extremely positive.” He explained, "None of them got the first tattoo of their life, it was more like people who already have a few and now have one more.”
In an effort to defend the campaign's merit, he added that only adults were allowed to get tattooed and that the offer was made available only in the early afternoon, not in the evening when, presumably, people might be drinking.
"The campaign has been extremely well received by the target group, there are extremely many visitors who want to beautify their bodies with tattoos," Lambert said.
The annual Climate Ticket, launched in 2021 to encourage Austrians to choose sustainable transportation options, is typically sold at a cost of €1,095 (just over $1,180), which translates to three euros per day. The outlet reported that 245,000 people in Austria currently hold Klimatickets.
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Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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