The commercial, portraying a typical Swiss setting with a merry Heidi frolicking in the bucolic Alps surrounded by peaceful cows, was actually shot in New Zealand using a local actress and local animals, said a report on the 20 Minuten newspaper.
Migros, the Swiss supermarket chain that commissioned the advert, argued that it needed a summer setting and filming had to take place place during the Swiss winter in 2004.
The move angered officials in Switzerland’s Heidiland, a popular tourist area stretching between Bad Ragaz and Amden.
“It’s not very logical,” Björn Caviezel, the head of Heidiland Tourism, told 20 Minuten.
“We could have provided an ideal setting for Migros. And perhaps we could have mutually benefited from the situation. Also, coming here from Zurich is certainly a lot cheaper than a 24-hour flight to New Zealand,” said Caviezel.