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Finlayson ends co-operation with Kärkkäinen over "repulsive propaganda"

The Finnish textile company announced on Friday that it would no longer work with Kärkkäinen stores owing to shop's close relationship with freesheet Magneettimedia, which has been sharply criticised for publishing anti-semitic material and unfounded health claims.

Kuvassa kuvakaappaus Magneettimedia-nettilehdestä
Image: YLE

Textile company Finlayson announced on Friday that it is ending its cooperation with Kärkkäinen stores. According to Finlayson, the decision was made for ethical and value-based reasons.

"The owners of Kärkkäinen shopping centres are behind Magneettimedia’s publications, which spread hateful and narrow-minded propaganda," said Finlayson’s chief executive and co-owner Jukka Kurttila. "The decision was not a financially easy one," he added.

Kurttila did not reveal the exact sum of money at stake, but said co-operation with Kärkkäinen had been in the range of "hundreds of thousands of euros."

Finlayson, founded in 1820, will no longer deliver its products such as sheets, duvet covers, bedspreads and pillows to Kärkkäinen. Kärkkäinen's main shops are in the Finnish cities of Oulu and Lahti. Finlayson home textile products already on Kärkkäinen shop shelves will not be removed, as this would not be possible for contractual reasons.

Recently a new complaint against Magneettimedia, which is predominantly distributed in Northern and Central Ostrobothnia and the Päijät-Häme region, was filed with Oulu police citing the publication’s ethnic agitation in the form of anti-semitism.

At the end of 2013, the online and freesheet publication was convicted of incitement of ethnic hatred in the form of anti-semiticism and then-editor-in-chief Juha Kärkkäinen was ordered to pay a fine of 45,000 euros. Kärkkäinen has applied for an appeal to the highest court to overturn the ruling.

Magneetti media’s current editor-in-chief Marrku Juutinen told Yle by email that the publication was not anti-semitic. At the same time he also denied being the editor-in-chief although he is listed as the editor-in-chief on the publication's own website.

The newspaper is no longer published by J. Kärkkäinen Oy but by Pohjoinen Perinne ("Northern Heritage"). According to their website, Juha Kärkkäinen remains involved with the print version of the newspaper.

In addition to anti-semitism, Magneettimedia has been criticised for disseminating unfounded health claims.  

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