In the first year after conscription was abolished, the Swedish Defense maintained an advertising budget of a whopping 100 million SEK ($12 million). Subsequently, the budget for advertising was cut down somewhat, yet hovered nevertheless at around SEK 60 million in recent years ($7 million).
Despite the obvious lack of personnel, the Armed Forces marketing boss Robert Forss believes the advertising has still been effective.
"Advertising has worked very well when it comes to recruiting young people who want to work in the Armed Forces full-time. Our continuing challenge is to bring home our offer of part-time service," Forss told Swedish Radio.
In recent years, the Swedish Armed Forces have been blamed for failure to offer adequate incentives for military service. Today, there is widespread dissatisfaction among Swedish soldiers with the starting salary of 18,000 SEK ($2,000) per month, which is 2,000 SEK ($200) lower than that of a supermarket cashier.
"The pay is very bad. Looking at our wages and comparing them with other professions in the country, we are almost at the bottom," soldier Jimmy Olsson told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
Another problem for professional soldiers in Sweden is that employment contracts are limited to eight years, in a bid to prevent "isolation from society." This makes Swedish servicemen look for employment elsewhere before long, Jimmy Olson noted.
The Armed Forces marketing department is so far cautious not to draw any conclusions about what the comeback of the draft could possibly imply.
"Whether or not our media presence will increase or decrease we do not know in the current situation," Forss said. "Basically, the Armed Forces still primarily focuses on volunteerism. The draft may come as an addition, while the need for volunteers will remain," he said.