Nordic ombudsmen question Facebook ads

Consumer ombudsmen in the Nordic region are looking into social networking sites such as Facebook to decide whether they are engaging in illegal marketing. The watchdogs are planning to investigate whether social media websites contravene advertising laws in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Iceland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands.

The Danish Consumer Ombudsman website states that the countries are planning to examine the promotional tools used by such websites in order to determine if they adhere to marketing legislation within the Nordic region.

“Social media are a part of everyday life and an attractive context for businesses to market themselves in. It is therefore important to clarify the rules so that we get the best possible consumer protection,” said Danish Consumer Ombudsman Henrik Oe in a Politiken report.

“Marketing legislation in the Nordic countries is very similar, giving us a good point of departure to address the problems and violations that exist on the Internet,” continued Oe. He went on to say that social media should be required to seek consent from a recipient before sending out advertising by sms and email.

The investigation will be particularly focused on protecting children and young people who are becoming increasingly addicted to social networking sites.

“There are rules that must be complied with in connection to marketing for children and young people – and these rules also apply online,” said an Ombudsman spokesperson.

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