Next Obnoxious Ad Venue: Out-of-Office Email Messages?

Does anyone out there actually read people's out-of-office email auto-replies? Well, don't start, because some jerk is trying to repurpose them as advertising space. Ad executives in Sweden see potential in this obnoxious scheme. Production company B-Reel agreed to be the guinea pigs, paying to be namedropped in Saatchi & Saatchi art director Gustav Egerstedt's out-of-office message. The Saatchi team envision bigger things, though. "It will be a very simple service, a website, where a person says, 'I'll be out of the office for this period of time, I'm in this kind of business, would you like to buy my message?' " says Petter Dixelius of Saatchi Stockholm. This would a tough sell in the U.S., partly because you'd have an inventory problem. People are barely allowed two weeks off per year, whereas in Sweden it's something like 38. Egerstedt confirms as much—admitting that he came up with the idea while preparing for his five months of paternity leave.