The Nordic consumer ombudsmen join forces against subliminal advertising

The Nordic consumer ombudsmen have agreed to increase co-operation in order to facilitate identifying advertising in social media.

The Nordic consumer ombudsmen met in Oslo on 15th-16th June to discuss for example problems related to identifying advertising. These problems are common to all the Nordic countries, and the ombudsmen reached consensus on the importance of the matter. Consumers have the right to know when attempts are being made to influence them commercially.

The Nordic consumer ombudsmen have solved problems related to identifying advertising in slightly different ways. “It must be easy to identify advertising regardless of the media and ways of presenting it. This requirement is valid in all the Nordic countries,” says the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman Päivi Hentunen.

In Finland, the consumer ombudsman has clarified blog advertising rules for companies that co-operate with bloggers and professional bloggers. The consumer ombudsman has published these rules in order to protect consumers, and the requirement for identifiable advertising is one of these. Also, in other Nordic countries the consumer authorities have informed bloggers of legislation on blog advertising. In Denmark, the consumer authorities have discussed with companies and bloggers. Instructions for bloggers are being finalised. In Sweden, the media industry is outlining ethical instructions for blog advertising.

The Nordic consumer ombudsmen agreed to join forces against subliminal advertising. They will meet in the autumn to prepare a joint statement.