Lars Olofsson is filing his first suit in the Juicy Fields case in Swedish court today – against Meta Platforms Inc, – but there is also an in part domestic marketing team which helped promote Juicy Fields across conferences and online media called Naked Media Group now in his sights too.
As the world turns its attention to the holiday season, one thing is absolutely certain. This year’s sure contender for Swedish if not cannabis and crypto legal Santa (aka Lars Olofsson) is certainly checking his list (in many cases more than twice) for the children who have been naughty on the Juicy Fields front. Some of them, as a result, are about to face legal challenges beyond that proverbial lump of coal.
Indeed, as of today, Olofsson has just launched the first of his lawsuits (against Meta Platforms, Inc., the current holding company of Facebook and Instagram, via their offshore datacentre based in Sweden). His strategy is to file here first and then launch similar suits in other countries via what is known as private criminal prosecutions. In this case, as in the others he is about to launch, it is Olofsson’s intent to use Swedish law first, where he can, to create precedents in the docket he now has ready to roll. Beyond this he will launch cases in other countries to pursue other angles, not to mention facilitating companies and individuals if not government agencies which failed in their regulatory and oversight duties of care beyond that) where necessary.
Meta’s Liability Is Hardly a Surprise
It is not as if this kind of action has not been widely predicted, given the stringency of Sweden’s privacy laws (for starters). And further, it is not like Facebook, in particular, has not been aware of this type of liability well before now.
Indeed given a new compliance issue that arose in July of this year, namely that Facebook wants to “share” its data about European users on servers located globally (which is against EU privacy law), not to mention the$275 million Irish fine the company is also now facing for breaking the same in that country, the Juicy Fields legal challenge is likely to mushroom into another major blow just as the company is facing rumours in the media about internal choppiness of its own.
The fact that Facebook was also paid money to promote Juicy Fields (via another firm now in Olofsson’s crosshairs in Sweden and directly), is also part of a very large problem now facing (at least) the European operations of the firm if not other Silicon Valley headquartered social media of other handles (see Google for starters).
Given the pending Supreme Court case in the US about the liability of social media for the harm their algorithms might case, however, this is a tar baby that any smart corporate giant will want to squiggle out of even if that means (albeit unlikely) an internal decision to settle this quickly before such a ruling blows up the worth of the liability they face even more. Or, if the case is allowed to go to court, settling as quickly as they can. It is not as if there is not a mountain of evidence that still exists (and across multiple channels).
It is also striking that Juicy Fields and their promoters were able to use such digital channels without being stopped or shut down – as is the experience of many cannabis firms who have tried marketing via such channels in the past to their chagrin.
The ”Other” Firm
The other firm Olofsson is targeting domestically before Christmas is a much smaller, newer (although boasts of its global reach) promotions, PR and event company rather intriguingly called, Naked Media Group. They were paid to perform social media promotion and event marketing by Juicy Fields, although this was far from their only client in the international European cannabis industry.
This role however, by definition, also included (at least) their intersection with many major cannabis events across the continent over the last 18 months or so (including the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) at which Juicy Fields was also a major if not the top sponsor).
This firm, at least, still appears to see nothing wrong with what they did. Indeed, it is still flagrantly linking video showing Juicy Fields promotion on its website.
Who Is Naked Media?
The firm’s HQ, according to CEO Fanny Skogland is in the UAE, but according to this promotional video, the company has operations in Sweden, Spain, Malta and Dubai (at least). According to their website, the firm’s founders grew their business “from a mid-pandemic idea back in 2020, when the world was changing as we know it. Physical borders between markets became difficult to cross, while digital relations and remote work models got a new definition. In this, we saw an opportunity to offer companies an opportunity to offer companies a remote marketing department that still feels intimate and familiar. A solution where you can access all elements needed, such as a graphic designer, marketing strategist, copywriter and more, and use it as your own marketing department, but without the liability of having them as your own employees.”
They certainly have managed to carve out an impressive presence on the scene in the last several years, undoubtedly fuelled by generous pay checks from their now ex client.
Their enthusiasm to take on this project is also a markedly different approach than another Swedish publicist and influencer the firm also approached at apparently about the same time. As Nina Jansdotter, who has collaborated with Lars Olofsson for over seven years said, “Juicy Fields approached me, early on, to do this work for them. I thankfully refused, although of course I did not realize the extent of the fraud until Lars and I started the investigation in late summer, 2022.”
Beyond his long association with Jansdotter, Olofsson was also approached by an investor who lost over €150k with the site after accounts were frozen in July 2022.
Jansdotter is also particularly perturbed about the reaction of the principles of Naked Media Group after learning that one of their clients had imploded leaving over a hundred thousand investors with almost no recourse.
“We confronted the firm at CB Expo in Switzerland at the beginning of our investigation,” she said, “and their attitude was that they did not care and were moving on to the next client. They did say they were stiffed on their last paycheck but given the damage that Juicy Fields did over the last two years to people all over the world who believed the hype, I would say this is small potatoes. At minimum they should be signing up to help our investigation.”
Editor’s Note: Naked Media Group was contacted for comment, and did not respond by deadline. Fanny Skogland, CEO, contacted us by email after initial publication claiming that they had not seen the overture to respond before publication because the email linked to her LinkedIn profile has not been used since the beginning of the year. She also corrected the original copy in saying that this was not a Swedish company, but rather one based in the UAE with no companies in other countries. We included the previous taped communication of company principles which says differently about where they were operating in the text above. She and Olofsson, backed by Jansdotter also contest what was said in Zurich. Skogland claims that they “offered help to Lars,” but have claimed there was no followup, a response which Olofsson and Jansdotter also contest. A copy of the initial lawsuit, the press release and the backgrounder, can be found HERE.