The Consumer Ombudsman's Guidelines for Bloggers on the Marketing Control Act

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The Consumer Ombudsman's Guidelines for Bloggers on the Marketing Control Act

01.04.2011

The Consumer Ombudsman's guidelines on blog advertising are meant to make it easier for bloggers and advertisers to act within the frames of legal marketing.

Many bloggers earn money on their blogs in the form of sales revenue, products that are sent to them and different forms of commercial agreements with firms that want to market their products. It is easy to make mistakes when it comes to following the rules in the Marketing Control Act. This is especially true with respect to the principle that all marketing should be clearly identifiable as marketing.

Moreover, many readers of blogs are under 18 years old, and a common mistake is to also forget about the special marketing rules designed to protect children. The Consumer Ombudsman has seen a call for more information about the issues raised for bloggers by the Marketing Control Act. We have therefore prepared these guidelines for bloggers to make it as easy as possible for them to follow the law.

Should you have any questions about the Marketing Control Act, you may contact the Consumer Ombudsman.

Main points in these guidelines

Click “Read more” to obtain more information about each of these points.


When does the Marketing Control Act apply?

The Marketing Control Act applies when you receive payment for writing about a product or service, when you are sent products in the expectation that you will write about them, or when you link to products that generate revenue from item purchase or reader activity. (Read more)


Ban on hidden advertising

It shall be fully evident to the blog’s readers what is advertising and what is other content on the blog. The advertising shall therefore always be formed so that it is clearly identifiable as advertising. (Read more)


Labelling

You can most clearly label the blog posts by writing, for instance, that this is an advertisement for product x, that you have received free products from company x, or that you have been paid by company x to write about the product. (Read more)


Use caution with respect to children and teenagers

Remember that the rules forbid direct invitations to purchase towards children in blog posts or banner adverts, and that in addition caution must always be exercised when it comes to advertising towards children. (Read more)


Penalties

If bloggers break the Marketing Control Act, it could lead to financial penalties. The Consumer Ombudsman has the authority to levy penalties against bloggers who break the Marketing Control Act. (Read more)

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