The six Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen gathered in Oslo June 15–16 to discuss, amongst other topics, problems concerning hidden advertising. All parties agree that this is an important area to focus on. For consumers, it is important to know who the sender of a message is.
– The Ombudsmen have in different ways been working on the issue of hidden advertising in their respective countries. The rule stating that it must be clear and evident what is advertising and what is not, is the same in all Nordic countries, says the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Gry Nergård.
Finland has mostly been working towards the advertising companies, who use blogs as a commercial channel, while Norway first and foremost has focused on informing the bloggers about the extent of the law. Denmark has worked with this issue for a long time, and has opened several cases against traders. Danish consumer authorities have been communicating with both bloggers and the advertising companies, and have recently begun working towards best practice guidelines for bloggers. Sweden has also been focusing on this topic for quite some time. Currently, they are concentrating on informing bloggers about the extent of the law, while the advertising companies are working towards best practice guidelines. Iceland has also focused on informing bloggers and traditional media, and has recently published guidelines for labeling advertisement in traditional and social media.
During the Nordic meeting, the Consumer Ombudsmen agreed on joining forces to coordinate efforts better in the future. In the coming months lawyers from all six nations will gather for the purpose of preparing a common ground on hidden advertising.
– We believe this will strengthen our efforts against hidden advertising and provide us with more efficient tools, says Nergård.
Gry Nergård, Consumer Ombudsman, Norway (Phone: + 47 99 00 50 80)
Päivi Hentunen, Consumer Ombudsman, Finland (Phone: +358 29 505 3000)
Cecilia Tisell, Stf Consumer Ombudsman, Sweden (Phone: + 46 0761-10 40 22)
Christina Toftegaard Nielsen, Consumer Ombudsman, Denmark (Phone: + 45 41 71 51 51)
Rannvá Ragnarsdóttir, Consumer Ombudsman, Faroe Islands (Phone: + 298 358000)
Tryggvi Axelsson, Consumer Agency, Iceland (Phone: + (354) – 510 11 00)