A. Overview

SECTION A OVERVIEW

 

Updates

Directive 2019/2161 Section E Jan 2021

Directive 2018/1808 transposed Jan 2021

Stereotyping adjudication June 2021

Influencer judgement Market Court 28/6/21

Ro 'Greenwashing' review (SW) October 2021

Google's environmental claims policy Oct 2021

ICC Environmental framework 2021 (November)

Innocent juice case (SW) December 2021 

Commission Guidance UCPD December 2021

IAB TCF Framework and GDPR. Feb 2022

Commission guidance reduced prices 

ICC Environmental Framework in Swedish 

Sambla loans ruled discriminatory June 2022 

Commercial re above here (link may expire) 

BMW iX environmental claim ruled misleading 

Ad re above is here (SW) July 2022 ruling

Google says cookie here to stay until 2024

July 27, 2022

Directive 2019/2161 transposed here (SW)

Environmental claims: the use of ‘Ecolabels’
Above from lawyers Vinge/ Lex October 2022

Acne Bags ruling as objectifying; ad here

 

 

SNAPSHOT
  • A market restricted more than most, especially regarding minors 
  • Relatively unusual system; marketing cases often in the courts
  • Market sensitive to gender/ stereotyping, environmental issues 
  • Influencer marketing identification also high profile; recent case
  • The SRO Reklamombudsmannen base decisions on ICC Code 

 

 

THE SRO’S GENERAL RULES

 

The Swedish Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) is Reklamombudsmannen (RO), more formally the Advertising Ombudsman. RO assess complaints according to rules from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, which is linked here and here (SW), the latter of which is obviously the applicable code in Sweden. Rules are available from the linked document above; the most important are spelt out in our Content Section B below.

 

THE MARKETING ACT

 

The other significant influence on advertising rules in Sweden is statutory: the Marketing Act 2008:486 (EN), which in Sweden provides the cornerstone of communications legislation, provides rules from the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC. The Act also transposes other European marketing/ privacy legislation such as Directive 2000/31/EC on information society services (E-Commerce), and Directive 2002/58/EC on the protection of privacy in electronic communications, meaning that a number of European marketing eggs are in a single Swedish basket. There's a helpful Q&A on misleading advertising practices in Sweden from Wistrand via Lexology here (EN; March 2022) and Prohibited and controlled advertising in Sweden from Wistrand here (EN; also March, 2022). Relevant rules are shown in our Content Section B and Channel Section C below, as applicable. The transposition of Directive 2019/2161 (the 'Omnibus Directive') introduces new rules into the Marketing Act and the Price Information Act, amongst others less relevant to this database. The government's bill here (SW) amends the Price Information act under Article 2.2 for promotional pricing rules and the Marketing Act under 2.4 for criteria in search rankings and the legitimacy of consumer reviews (sections 12b and 12c respectively). Transposition is faithful to the Directive. 

 

APPLYING THE RULES

 

Day-to-day application of the rules is by RO, per the normal Self-Regulatory process. However, there is an additional procedure in Sweden: if the case arouses the interest of the Swedish Consumer Agency, a significant influence in marketing regulation, adjudication is via the Patent and Market Courts. A complaint can be taken to court by the Consumer Agency as well as by competitors or a group of consumers/ traders/ workers. For some perspective, here are The Market Court's decisions from 2000 to 31 August 2016; these are in Swedish, but there's a translation facility on the site which provides the gist. The Consumer Agency publishes a number of guidance papers in marketing and advertising; some of these are shown in our Content and Channel sections below. The general advertising and promotional environment in Sweden is somewhat restrictive and conservative.

 

NATIVE AND INFLUENCER 

 

The ICC’s Guidance on Native Advertising (EN) is based on the ICC Code itself, drawing on Articles 7 and 8 (Identification and Identity), B1 and C1 (Sponsorship and Digital communications respectively). Clauses from the Guidance are set out in full in Channel Section C. The Marketing Act’s (EN) Section 9 similarly requires clarity that advertising is advertising: ‘All marketing shall be formulated and presented in such a way that it is clear that it is a matter of marketing’. In May 2016, the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen jointly published their ‘Position on Hidden Marketing’ (SW / EN), and the Swedish representative also publishes Guidance on Marketing in Social Media (SW / EN) video here (SW), which covers Influencers primarily, requiring that influencer posts are very clear that they are paid for - the likes of 'in collaboration with' don't cut it. See below and our Channel Section C for more. 

 

Two key cases

 

The first case in Swedish courts about ad identification in social media - the ‘Kissie case’ re a well-known Swedish blogger and influencer Alexandra Nilsson - is linked here in Swedish; English commentary here from Lexology. According to RO, the court set a high standard, in line with RO's decisions. Among the rulings are that it must be clear when a post has been paid for and the identification itself must also be clear - i.e. its position within the post/ blog must be prominent. See pps 42 and 43 of the linked case, unofficially translated here. This case is likely to result in new rules being issued, probably by the Consumer Agency. A second significant case regarding Influencer posts on behalf of an eyewear company, and whether all posts versus contracted posts qualify as marketing communications, is here courtesy of AWA/ Lexology. 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

This is, as you might imagine, a high profile issue in Sweden. Guidance on environmental claims in advertising is from the Swedish Consumer Agency (link is to the relevant section in Google English; translated properly in our Content Section B under point 2.3); the  guidance draws on the principles within Chapter D - Environmental claims in marcoms - of the ICC Code. Also providing guidance is The ICC framework for responsible environmental marcoms (November 2021, in Swedish here and commentary from Ro newsletter here), which includes an environmental claims checklist under Appendix I. The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen 'Use of Ethical and Environmental-related Claims in marketing' is here in Swedish and translated here. The definitive guidance at the EU level is the December 2021 Commission Notice on the interpretation and application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive; section 4.1.1. for Environmental claims. The Ro newsletter of October 2021 included this brief review of 'greenwashing' (SW) together with some recent cases and in December 2021 an Innocent juice case (SW) was published: complaint upheld because of insufficient evidence of the environmental benefits shown in the commercial, an English version of which is here (the commercial is now removed; this pressure group video includes what appears to be a large part of it). There is a detailed segment on Environmental claims in our following Content Section B. The WFA launched their Planet Pledge in April 2021 and Global Guidance on Environmental Claims April 2022. On 7 October 2021, Google launched a new monetization policy for Google advertisers, publishers and YouTube creators that will prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change. More here.

 

PRICING

 

Generic pricing rules applicable to all advertising are from the Marketing Act (EN) in Sections 10 and 12 and the Price Information Act - English translation here - which requires the trader to provide accurate and clear pricing information on products; in particular Sections 7-10 must be observed when marketing a product with a stated price, also as per Section 2, the Swedish Consumer Agency’s regulations on price information KOVFS 2012:1, guidance here (links are to the Swedish originals; details and translations where required are in our later Content Section B). The Marketing Act Section 12, which transposes the pricing elements of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC, deals with the rules when communicating an ‘Invitation to Purchase’. Again, details in Content Section B. The European position provides amendments from the Directive 2019/2161, which established in the Product Pricing Directive 98/6/EC a new article 6a which sets out provisions for reduced/ promotional pricing. Transposition in Sweden is via the government bill here (SW) under article 2.2. Commission guidance for the application of the article is here.

 

CHILDREN

 

There’s a common perception that advertising to children is entirely prohibited in Sweden. Not the case, though it is a particularly sensitive issue that should be treated with some care. Clearly, children are protected from sectors that they are not permitted to use, such as Alcohol (advertising is prohibited to those under the age of 25), or Gambling which may not be aimed at Under 18s. Meanwhile, the rules for all product sectors are that advertising on television may not appeal to children under 12, according to The Radio and TV Act 2010:696 (EN unamended version, SW amended version here). A separate rule from the Marketing Act Section 7, applicable in all media, requires that advertising may not exhort those under the age of 18 to buy advertised products or persuade their parents or other adults to buy advertised products for them. The Swedish Consumer Agency’s Guidance on marketing aimed at children and young people is an important influence in this context. A document that shows the original Swedish with a translation is here. The rules on communicating to Children are covered in depth in a separate sector available from the home page of this website.

 

STEREOTYPING

 

Gender portrayal in Sweden is highly sensitive and subject to special criteria. The ICC Code Article 2 (part): ‘Marketing communications should respect human dignity and should not incite or condone any form of discrimination, including that based upon ethnic or national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation’ is supplemented by RO with further criteria under three topics (original Swedish here):

 

  1. Advertising that objectifies: advertising that portrays people as sex objects, for example via clothing, pose and context, in a way that can be considered to be degrading. What is considered to be degrading is influenced, among other things, by whether the person has a connection to the product and how and where the advertising has been shown;
  2. Stereotyping in advertising: advertising that portrays people in stereotypical gender roles and which can be considered to describe or convey a degrading presentation of women or men;
  3. Advertising that is degrading in any other way and therefore is obviously gender discriminatory.

 

There’s an example case here (SW) re the Suit Supply company. The ad is here.

See also the Sambla loans case re 'older craftsmen' here; commercial here

 

CHANNEL RULES

 

As well as what you can say, there are rules for where you can say it, to whom, and when, and the information that must by law be included in, for example, some electronic communications. These rules apply to all products. Our Channel  Section B sets them out by medium; this para is a brief summary with links to the regulations and guidance documents.

 

As above under the Children sub-head, the Radio and TV Act 2010:696 (EN) prohibits appeal to children ('Advertising ……may not aim to capture the attention of children under the age of twelve’), and sets out other rules on advertising, sponsorship and product placement in broadcasting, in line with the AVMS Directive 2010/13/EU. Directive 2018/1808 extends the scope of the AVMSD to e.g. video-sharing platforms; the Swedish transposition 2020:875 of this is here. Consent and Information rules in the use of cookies and electronic communications is regulated by Sections 19-21 of the Marketing Act (EN) and the Electronic Communications Act ECA - law No. 2003:389 (EN), implementing the E-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC. The Act on Electronic Commerce 2002:562 (SW) implemented the E-commerce Directive 2000/31/EC, which requires that ‘Information Society services’ provide certain information - details in our Channel Section C, or see the linked document. The Swedish Consumer Agency publish a number of advertising guidelines, the most significant of which in this context is their Guidance on Marketing In Social Media (SW / EN), also linked earlier. Details in Channel Section C with other rules on, for example, Native advertising and Marketers' own websites.

 

GDPR

 

Privacy issues should be reviewed with specialist advisors 


The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) applied directly in all EU member states from 25 May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The European Commission page on GDPR is here. The GDPR is accompanied by Directive 2016/680, which is largely concerned with supervising procedures, and should have been transposed into member states’ legislation by 6 May 2018. Nationally, the former Personal Data Act 1998:204 is repealed, and replaced by Law 2018:218 (SW), which ’complements’ the GDPR with some supplementary provisions. Personal data processing issues occur across multiple channels, and in each case lawful processing rules from the GDPR may apply. See our Section C for more information by channel. 

 

 

 

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B. Content Rules

SECTION B CONTENT RULES

 

 

This section is longer than most. To help navigate it, some text is 'anchored 'and linked to respective headings immediately below

 

 

  1. GENERAL RULES

 

1.1. The ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (ICC Code) 

1.2. The Marketing Act

 

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL RULES

 

2.1. Chapter D, ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice

2.2. ICC framework for responsible environmental marketing communications

2.3. Guidance from the Swedish Consumer Agency

2.4. Nordic Ombudsmen Guidance 

2.5. European Commission Guidance 

 

  1. PRICING

 

3.1. Marketing Act 2008:486 Sections 10 and 12

3.2. The Price Information Act

3.3. Section 2, Swedish Consumer Agency’s regulations on price information

3.4. The Competition Act (2008:579)

3.5. The ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice​
 

  1. STEREOTYPING

 

  1. ADJUDICATIONS

 
 

1. GENERAL RULES

 

Key extracts from the ICC Code (EN) that applies in Sweden to all product categories are below

 

Basic Principles (Art. 1)

 

  • All marketing communications should be legal, decent, honest and truthful
  • All marketing communications should be prepared with a due sense of social and professional responsibility and should conform to the principles of fair competition, as generally accepted in business
  • No communication should be such as to impair public confidence in marketing

 

Social responsibility (Art. 2)

 

  • Marketing communications should respect human dignity and should not incite or condone any form of discrimination, including that based upon ethnic or national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation
  • Marketing communications should not without justifiable reason play on fear or exploit misfortune or suffering
  • Marketing communications should not appear to condone or incite violent, unlawful or anti-social behavior
  • Marketing communications should not play on superstition

 

Decency (Art. 3)

 

  • Marketing communications should not contain statements or audio or visual treatments which offend standards of decency currently prevailing in the country and culture concerned

 

Honesty (Art. 4)

 

  • Marketing communications should be so framed as not to abuse the trust of consumers or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge
  • Relevant factors likely to affect consumers’ decisions should be communicated in such a way and at such a time that consumers can take them into account

 

Truthfulness (Art. 5)

 

  • Marketing communications should be truthful and not misleading
  • Marketing communications should not contain any statement, claim or audio or visual treatment which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggeration, is likely to mislead the consumer, in particular, but not exclusively, with regard to:

 

  • Characteristics of the product which are material, i.e. likely to influence the consumer’s choice, such as: nature, composition, method and date of manufacture, range of use, efficiency and performance, quantity, commercial or geographical origin or environmental impact
  • The value of the product and the total price to be paid by the consumer
  • Terms for delivery, exchange, return, repair and maintenance
  • Terms of guarantee
  • Copyright and industrial property rights such as patents, trade marks, designs and models and trade names
  • Compliance with standards
  • Official recognition or approval, awards such as medals, prizes and diplomas
  • The extent of benefits for charitable causes

 

Substantiation (Art. 6)

 

  • Descriptions, claims or illustrations relating to verifiable facts in marketing communications should be capable of substantiation. Claims that state or imply that a particular level or type of substantiation exists must have at least the level of substantiation advertised. Such substantiation should be available so that evidence can be produced without delay and upon request to the self-regulatory organisations responsible for the implementation of the Code

 

Identification and transparency (Art. 7)

 

  • Marketing communications should be clearly distinguishable as such, whatever their form and whatever the medium used. When an advertisement, including so-called “native advertising”, appears in a medium containing news or editorial matter, it should be so presented that it is readily recognisable as an advertisement and where appropriate, labelled as such. The true commercial purpose of marketing communications should be transparent and not misrepresent their true commercial purpose. Hence, a communication promoting the sale of a product should not be disguised as, for example, market research, consumer surveys, user-generated content, private blogs, private postings on social media or independent reviews
 

Identity of the Marketer  (Art. 8)

 

  • The identity of the marketer should be transparent. Marketing communications should, where appropriate, include contact information to enable the consumer to get in touch with the marketer without difficulty
  • The above does not apply to communications with the sole purpose of attracting attention to communication activities to follow (e.g. so-called ‘teaser’ advertisements)

 

Comparisons (Art. 11)

 

  • Marketing communications containing comparisons should be so designed that the comparison is not likely to mislead, and should comply with the principles of fair competition. Points of comparison should be based on facts which can be substantiated and should not be unfairly selected

 

Denigration (Art. 12)

 

  • Marketing communications should not denigrate any person or group of persons, firm, organisation, industrial or commercial activity, profession or product, or seek to bring it or them into public contempt or ridicule

 

Testimonials (Art.13)

 

  • Marketing communications should not contain or refer to any testimonial, endorsement or supportive documentation unless it is genuine, verifiable and relevant. Testimonials or endorsements which have become obsolete or misleading through passage of time should not be used

 

Portrayal or imitation of persons and references to personal property (Art.14)

 

  • Marketing communications should not portray or refer to any persons, whether in a private or a public capacity, unless prior permission has been obtained; nor should marketing communications without prior permission depict or refer to any person’s property in a way likely to convey the impression of a personal endorsement of the product or organisation involved

 

Exploitation of goodwill (Art.15)

 

  • Marketing communications should not make unjustifiable use of the name, initials, logo and/or trademarks of another firm, company or institution. Marketing communications should not in any way take undue advantage of another firm’s, individual’s or institution’s goodwill in its name, brands or other intellectual property, or take advantage of the goodwill earned by other marketing campaigns without prior consent

 

Imitation (Art. 16)

 

  • Marketing communications should not imitate those of another marketer in any way likely to mislead or confuse the consumer, for example through the general layout, text, slogan, visual treatment, music or sound effects
  • Where a marketer has established a distinctive marketing communications campaign in one or more countries, other marketers should not imitate that campaign in other countries where the marketer who originated the campaign may operate, thereby preventing the extension of the campaign to those countries within a reasonable period of time
 

Other main articles from the General Provisions of the Code are:

 

9. Use of technical/ scientific data and terminology

 10. Use of free and guarantee

17. Safety and Health

 18. Children and young people

19. Data protection and privacy

20. Transparency on cost of communication

21. Unsolicited products and undisclosed costs

 22. Environmental behaviour

 

Chapters from the Code are: 

 

Chapter A: Sales Promotion

Chapter B: Sponsorship

Chapter C: Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications 

Chapter D: Environmental Claims in Marketing Communications

 

 

Where the rules are channel-related, they are shown in our following Channel Section C

 

 

 

The translation above does not include amends to the Marketing Act brought about by the transposition of Directive 2019/2161, delivered in a government bill here under article 2.4. The key clauses, which relate to the integrity of consumer reviews and the criteria for search rankings, do not directly impact ad content, except for new pricing provisions (2.2. in the bill) which are shown below under point 3, or in this article extracted from the Directive

 

Misleadingness

 

Section 10 of the act, which is the seminal piece of marketing/ advertising legislation in Sweden, transposing the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC, covers misleading marketing as follows:

 

  • In the course of marketing a trader may not make any incorrect statement or other representation that is misleading with respect to the trader’s own or another person's business activity
  • The first paragraph applies in particular to representations that concern:

 

  1. The product’s existence, nature, quantity, quality and other distinguishing characteristics
  2. The product’s origin, uses and risks such as impact on health or environment
  3. Customer service, processing of complaints and method and date of manufacture or supply
  4. The product’s price, basis for calculating the price, special price advantages and payment terms
  5. The qualifications, position on the market, commitments, trademarks, trade names, distinctive symbols or other rights of the trader or of another trader
  6. Awards or distinctions awarded to the trader
  7. Terms of delivery for the product
  8. Service needs, spare parts, exchange or repairs
  9. The trader’s commitment to comply with codes of conduct, and
  10. The consumer’s rights under law or other regulation

 

  • A trader may not omit material information when marketing his own or another person's business activity. Misleading omission also refers to cases where the material information is provided in an unclear, incomprehensible, ambiguous or other inappropriate manner
 

Invitation to purchase

 

Finally in this coverage of general rules, if your advertising or ‘commercial communication’ constitutes an ‘invitation to purchase’ Definition ‘Indicating characteristics of the product and the price in a way appropriate to the means of the commercial communication used and thereby enables the consumer to make a purchase’ Art. 2 (1) UCP Directive certain material information must be included, as transposed in the Marketing Act Section 12:

 

  • Marketing is misleading if in a representation the trader offers consumers a specific product with a stated price without clear presentation of the following material information:

 

  1. The product’s distinguishing characteristics to the extent appropriate to the media and product
  2. Price and unit price stated as stipulated in Sections 7-10 of the Price Information Act (2004:347)
  3. The identity and geographical address of the trader
  4. Terms and conditions of payment, delivery, performance and processing of complaints if these deviate from normal practice in the industry or for the product in question
  5. Information concerning the right of withdrawal or the right to cancel a purchase which must be supplied to the consumer by law.

 

  • Marketing is also misleading if the trader in a representation offers consumers several specific products at a common price, without the offer containing material information under points 1-5 of the first paragraph

 

 

2. ENVIRONMENTAL RULES

 

The environment is a particularly sensitive issue in Sweden, and there are a good number of guidances and frameworks that are influential. The key rules in this context, however, are those from Chapter D  of the ICC Code applicable in Sweden, and its connected ‘Framework’ (November 2021; EN). Extracts from Chapter D are below; the revised framework is a significant addition to the regulatory line-up. Appendix I carries an Environmental Claims Checklist 'that marketers may find useful in evaluating their environmental claims.' It's in Swedish here.

 

2.1. Chapter D, ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code 

 

Scope

 

This chapter applies to all marketing communications containing environmental claims, i.e. any claim in which explicit or implicit reference is made to environmental or ecological aspects relating to the production, packaging, distribution, use/consumption or disposal of products. Environmental claims can be made in any medium, including labelling, package inserts, promotional and point-of-sales materials, product literature as well as via telephone or digital or electronic media such as e-mail and the internet. All are covered by this chapter. The chapter draws from national and international guidance, including, but not limited to, certain provisions of the International Standard ISO 14021 on ‘Self-declared environmental claims,’ relevant to the marketing communication context, rather than technical prescriptions. Definitions of terms are not included here but are available from the link below

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/ICCChapterDEnvironmentalClaims2018.pdf

 

D1 Honest and truthful presentation 

 

  • Marketing communication should be so framed as not to abuse consumers’ concern for the environment, or exploit their possible lack of environmental knowledge.
  • Marketing communication should not contain any statement or visual treatment likely to mislead consumers in any way about the environmental aspects or advantages of products, or about actions being taken by the marketer in favour of the environment. Overstatement of environmental attributes, such as highlighting a marginal improvement as a major gain, or use of statistics in a misleading way (“we have doubled the recycled content of our product” when there was only a small percentage to begin with) are examples. Marketing communications that refer to specific products or activities should not imply, without appropriate substantiation, that they extend to the whole performance of a company, group or industry
  • An environmental claim should be relevant to the particular product being promoted and relate only to aspects that already exist or are likely to be realised during the product’s life, including customary and usual disposal or reasonably foreseeable improper disposal It should be clear to what the claim relates, e.g. the product, a specific ingredient of the product, or its packaging or a specific ingredient of the packaging. A pre-existing but previously undisclosed aspect should not be presented as new. Environmental claims should be up to date and should, where appropriate, be re-assessed with regard to relevant developments
  • Vague or non-specific claims of environmental benefit, which may convey a range of meanings to consumers, should be made only if they are valid, without qualification, in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances. If this is not the case, general environmental claims should either be qualified or avoided. In particular, claims such as “environmentally friendly,” “ecologically safe,” “green,” “sustainable,” “carbon friendly” or any other claim implying that a product or an activity has no impact – or only a positive impact – on the environment, should not be used without qualification unless a very high standard of proof is available. As long as there are no definitive, generally accepted methods for measuring sustainability or confirming its accomplishment, no claim to have achieved it should be made
  • Qualifications should be clear, prominent and readily understandable; the qualification should appear in close proximity to the claim being qualified, to ensure that they are read together. There may be circumstances where it is appropriate to use a qualifier that refers a consumer to a website where accurate additional information may be obtained. This technique is particularly suitable for communicating about after-use disposal. For example, it is not possible to provide a complete list of areas where a product may be accepted for recycling on a product package
  • A claim such as “Recyclable in many communities, visit [URL] to check on facilities near you,” provides a means of advising consumers where to locate information on communities where a particular material or product is accepted for recycling

 

D2 Scientific research

 

  • Marketing communications should use technical demonstrations or scientific findings about environmental impact only when they are backed by reliable scientific evidence
  • Environmental jargon or scientific terminology is acceptable provided it is relevant and used in a way that can be readily understood by those to whom the message is directed. (See also article 6 of the Code - Use of technical/scientific data and terminology)
  • An environmental claim relating to health, safety or any other benefit should be made only where it is supported by reliable scientific evidence
 
D3 Superiority and comparative claims 

 

  • Any comparative claim should be specific and the basis for the comparison should be clear. Environmental superiority over competitors should be claimed only when a significant advantage can be demonstrated. Products being compared should meet the same needs and be intended for the same purpose
  • Comparative claims, whether the comparison is with the marketer’s own previous process or product or with those of a competitor, should be worded in such a way as to make it clear whether the advantage being claimed is absolute or relative
  • Improvements related to a product and its packaging should be presented separately, and should not be combined, in keeping with the principle that claims should be specific and clearly relate to the product, an ingredient of the product, or the packaging or ingredient of the packaging

 

D4 Product life-cycle, components and elements

 

  • Environmental claims should not be presented in such a way as to imply that they relate to more stages of a product’s life-cycle, or to more of its properties, than is justified by the evidence; it should always be clear to which stage or which property a claim refers. A life-cycle benefits claim should be substantiated by a life-cycle analysis
  • When a claim refers to the reduction of components or elements having an environmental impact, it should be clear what has been reduced. Such claims are justified only if they relate to alternative processes, components or elements which result in a significant environmental improvement
  • Environmental claims should not be based on the absence of a component, ingredient, feature or impact that has never been associated with the product category concerned unless qualified to indicate that the product or category has never been associated with the particular component, ingredient, feature or impact. Conversely, generic features or ingredients, which are common to all or most products in the category concerned, should not be presented as if they were a unique or remarkable characteristic of the product being promoted
  • Claims that a product does not contain a particular ingredient or component, e.g. that the product is “X-free”, should be used only when the level of the specified substance does not exceed that of an acknowledged trace contaminant (See example)  or background level. Claims that a product, package or component is “free” of a chemical or substance often are intended as an express or implied health claim in addition to an environmental claim. The substantiation necessary to support an express or implied health or safety claim may be different from the substantiation required to support the environmental benefit claim. The advertiser must be sure to have reliable scientific evidence to support an express or implied health and safety claim in accordance with other relevant provisions of the Code
 
D5 Signs and symbols 

 

  • Environmental signs or symbols should be used in marketing communication only when the source of those signs or symbols is clearly indicated and there is no likelihood of confusion over their meaning. Such signs and symbols should not be used in such a way as falsely to suggest official approval or third-party certification
 
D6 Waste handling 

 

  • Environmental claims referring to waste handling are acceptable provided that the recommended method of separation, collection, processing or disposal is generally accepted or conveniently available to a reasonable proportion of consumers in the area concerned (or such other standard as may be defined by applicable local law). If not, the extent of availability should be accurately described

D7 Responsibility 

 

  • For this chapter, the rules on responsibility laid down in the General Provisions apply; see article 23

 

 

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2.2. ICC Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/iccenvironmentalframework_2021.pdf

https://icc.se/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/ICC-Riktlinjer-Ansvarsfull-Marknadskommunikation-om-miljo-och-klimat_2022.pdf

 

 

 

 

  • Marketing must be responsible
  • The average consumer cannot be expected to have deep technical and environmental knowledge
  • The accuracy of statements must be capable of verification, especially for products that are environmentally harmful. Judgments 2004:4, 2004:12 and 2011:12, which can be found in the linked document below (borrowed from our Cars database), provide relevant rulings from the Market Court:
    http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWBilGuidanceEnvironmentb.pdf (EN)
  • Only those environmental claims may be used which can be substantiated with current, evidence-based documentation
  • General claims must be shown to be valid after an overall assessment of the environmental effects
  • Vague and non-specific claims, such as ‘environmentally friendly’ should be avoided
  • There should not be any doubt about whether the environmental claim relates to the product itself or the packaging
  • Free from "irrelevant" substances claims should not be made, namely that the product lacks substances that in general have nothing to do with the product area/ field. For example, claiming that a product is 'chlorine free' must not be made where the chlorine in the product has been replaced by another equally problematic substance
  • Environmental signs and symbols should only be used in marcoms where the source of those signs is clearly indicated and there is no likelihood of confusion over their meaning

 

2.4. Nordic Ombudsmen guidance 

 

Guidance of the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen; use of ethical and environmental-related claims in marketing in Swedish here:

http://www.konsumentverket.se/contentassets/dcac36a19d2a4f5c8c6b451ce8dfc4dd/nordisk-standpunkt-miljo-konsumentverket.pdf

And translated here:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWGenNordicOmbudsmenEnvironmental_.pdf

This is a fairly lengthy document so it has not been set out below. It provides some useful guidance and references if you are uncertain about what you can and can’t do when making environmental claims or statements, though the territory it covers is based on the ICC Code and the Marketing Act. The Guidance makes the point as follows:

 

  • 2.1. Special requirements regarding marketing or product characteristics, labeling or the like may be determined by special legislation. This may concern, for example, environmental legislation, legislation on chemical products, ecologically produced products, foodstuffs etc. If so, special legislation applies. This guidance applies only to the assessment that may be made in accordance with the Marketing Act

 

2.5. European Commission/ MDEC guidance 

 

 

 

3. PRICING

 

Developments at a European level are that Directive 2019/2161 amends to the Product Pricing Directive 98/6/EC are in the form of a new article 6a that provides rules for price reduction announcements, including those in advertising. Transpositions in Sweden are in the March 2022 government bill here (SW) under article 2.2, entry into force July 1. Commission guidance (from 2021) on the application of article 6a is here  

 

Generic pricing rules applicable to all advertising:

 

3.1 Marketing Act 2008:486 Sections 10 and 12 of the Act

 

  • Section 10: In the course of marketing a trader may not make any incorrect statement or other representation that is misleading with respect to the trader’s own or another person's business activity - applies in particular to representations which concern 4) the product’s price, basis for calculating the price, special price advantages and payment terms
  • Section 12: Marketing is misleading if in a representation the trader offers consumers a specific product with a stated price without clear presentation of the following material information: 2. price and unit price stated as stipulated in Sections 7-10 of the Price Information Act (2004:347)
  • The Marketing Act also transposes under Section 8: ‘Misleading marketing as specified in points 1-23 of Annex I to Directive 2005/29/EC are always to be regarded as unfair.’ Points 5 and 6 of the Annex referenced are as follows:

 

5. Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply or to procure another trader to supply, those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered ('bait advertising')

6. Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price and then: (a) refusing to show the advertised item to consumers; or (b) refusing to take orders for it or deliver it within a reasonable time; or (c) demonstrating a defective sample of it, with the intention of promoting a different product ('bait and switch')

 

3. 2. The Price Information Act

 

English translation here; provisions require the trader to provide accurate and clear pricing information on products; in particular sections 7-10 must be observed when marketing a product with a stated price, as referenced in Section 12 (2) Marketing Act

 

  • Section 7: Price information for goods shall be provided by details of the price and unit price of the goods. For products other than goods, the price information (indication) shall be provided by details of the price of the product. The Government or the authority appointed by the Government may also prescribe that unit prices shall be indicated for such products. If the price of a product cannot be indicated, the trader shall instead provide a price indication by stating the basis on which the price is determined
  • Section 8: A unit price need not be indicated if, owing to the nature or purpose of the product, it may be assumed that the indication of a unit price would not be relevant or if such an indication would possibly cause confusion
  • Section 9: Only a unit price needs to be indicated for goods that are not pre-packed and which are measured in the presence of the customer
  • Section 10: The price information shall be correct and clear. If charges and other costs may be added, this shall be indicated specially. The price information shall be provided in writing if the consumer cannot obtain the information in some other equivalent way. Price information shall be provided in such a way that it clearly indicates to the consumer the product to which the (price) information relates

 

 

3. 3 Section 2, Swedish Consumer Agency’s regulations on price information KOVFS 2012:1(SW). Guidance here (SW)

When a given product is marketed with a quoted price, the price information should be provided pursuant to §§ 7-10 Price Information Act 2004:347

 

 

3.4. The Competition Act (2008:579)

in the context of Anti-competitive cooperation between companies; agreements between undertakings shall be prohibited that directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions (Art. 1). Unofficial English translation of the act here

 

 

 

Article 10 (Sect. I of the Code) Use of ‘Free’ and ‘Guarantee: The term “free”, e.g. “free gift” or “free offer”, should be used only:

 

  • where the offer involves no obligation whatsoever; or
  • where the only obligation is to pay shipping and handling charges which should not exceed the cost estimated to be incurred by the marketer, or
  • in conjunction with the purchase of another product, provided the price of that product has not been increased to cover all or part of the cost of the offer

Where free trial, free subscription and similar offers convert to paid transactions at the end of the free period, the terms and conditions of the paid conversion should be clearly, prominently and unambiguously disclosed before the consumer accepts the offer. Likewise, where a product is to be returned by the consumer at the end of the free period it should be made clear at the outset who will bear the cost for that. The procedure for returning the product should be as simple as possible, and any time limit should be clearly disclosed. See also Article C12 Right of withdrawal.

 

Marketing communications should not state or imply that a “guarantee”, “warranty” or other expression having substantially the same meaning, offers the consumer rights additional to those provided by law when it does not. The terms of any guarantee or warranty, including the name and address of the guarantor, should be easily available to the consumer and limitations on consumer rights or remedies, where permitted by law, should be clear and conspicuous

 

 

Sales Promotions article A2

 

  • Sales Promotions should be so devised as to enable the consumer to identify the terms of the offer easily and clearly, including any limitations. Care should be taken not to exaggerate the value of the promotional item or to obscure or conceal the price of the main product
 

Direct marketing article C14. Prices and credit terms

 

  • Any information needed by the consumer to understand the cost, interest and terms of any other form of credit should be provided, either in the offer or when the credit is offered

  • Whether payment for the offer is on an immediate sale or instalment basis, the price and terms of payment should be clearly stated in the offer, together with the nature of any additional charges (such as postage, handling, taxes, etc.) and, whenever possible, the amount of such charges

  • In the case of sales by instalment, the credit terms, including the amount of any deposit or payment on account, the number, amount and periodicity of such instalments and the total price compared with the immediate selling price, if any, should be clearly shown in the offer

  • Unless the duration of the offer and the price are clearly stated in the offer, prices should be maintained for a reasonable period of time

 

 

4. STEREOTYPING.

 

Gender portrayal in Sweden is subject to special criteria. The ICC Code article 4 (‘Marketing communications should respect human dignity and should not incite or condone any form of discrimination, including that based upon ethnic or national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation’) is supplemented by Ro with further criteria on three topics (original Swedish here):

 

  1. Advertising that objectifies: advertising that portrays people as sex objects, for example via clothing, pose and context, in a way that can be considered to be degrading. What is considered to be degrading is influenced, among other things, by whether the person has a connection to the product and how and where the advertising has been shown
  2. Stereotyping in advertising: advertising that portrays people in stereotypical gender roles and which can be considered to describe or convey a degrading presentation of women or men
  3. Advertising that is degrading in any other way and therefore is obviously gender discriminatory

 

 

5. ADJUDICATIONS

 

 

Day-to-day application of the rules, in this case reviewing complaints, is by RO, per the normal self-regulatory process. Ro adjudicate in two ways:

 

  1. More regular or conventional cases are reviewed by experienced executives at RO
  2. Via the RO Jury (RON). Cases that are complicated or deal with a subject that has never been reviewed before are referred to the RO Jury (RON)

 

As this data is concerned with General versus sector rules, we do not set out individual cases, as there is too much ground to cover. Note, however, that there is particular sensitivity towards, and a strong lobby presence around, gender portrayal in Swedish advertising. The link below shows an example adjudication (in this case not upheld; the link is to a Swedish language website, there's a translation facility on the website which will provide the gist):

http://reklamombudsmannen.org/eng/uttalande/dominos-pizza 

But in this ‘Suit Supply’ case upheld; ad here

 

 

The Patent and Market court

 

There is an additional procedure in Sweden: if the case arouses the interest of the Swedish Consumer Agency, adjudication is via the Patent and Market Courts. For some perspective, here are The Market Court's decisions from 2000 to 31 August 2016; these are in Swedish, but there is a translation facility on the site, which should provide the gist of the decisions

 

 

 

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C. Channel Rules

1. TV/Radio/VOD

SECTION C: TV & RADIO/ AV

 

 

STANDARD RULES 

 

  • The Content rules set out in Section B apply; the Self-Regulatory code applied by RO is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code. Content rules from the Marketing Act (MA; EN) pertain in all channels; any channel rules from the MA are shown in the relevant sections below
  • Commercial advertising in TV broadcasts, Teletext, and on-demand TV must not be designed to attract the attention of children under the age of 12 (Radio & TV Act RTVA; EN. Chap. 8, s. 7)
  • Programmes (TV or On-demand TV) primarily aimed at children under 12 years of age must not be surrounded or interrupted by advertising (Chap. 8, ss 3 & 7). Nor may these programmes contain product placement (RTVA Chap. 6, s. 2)
  • Must not feature individuals or characters who play a prominent role in children’s programmes (s.8) or people who play a prominent role in programmes that primarily involve news or news commentaries (s.9 RTVA)

 

The Radio and TV Act linked above is the GRS translation of the unamended act. Directive 2018/1808, which amends the AVMS Directive to extend its scope into e.g. video-sharing platforms; extract from recital 3:  'Channels or any other audiovisual services under the editorial responsibility of a provider can constitute audiovisual media services in themselves, even if they are offered on a video-sharing platform which is characterised by the absence of editorial responsibility. In such cases, it will fall to the providers with editorial responsibility to comply with Directive 2010/13/EU'The Radio and TV Act has been duly amended and is in Swedish here. Commercial content rules are essentially unchanged; what's changed is where they are applied

 

 

PRODUCT PLACEMENT (Ch. 6 RTVA)

 

  • Permitted only in films, TV series, sports and light entertainment programmes
  • Prohibited in programmes directed at children under 12 years of age
  • Must not directly encourage purchase or rental of goods or services 
  • Product placement must be indicated at the beginning and at the end of the programme, as well when the programme resumes after an interruption for advertising
  • This indication must be a neutral notification that there is product placement and of the goods/ services which have been placed in the programme

 

 

SPONSORSHIP (Ch. 7 RTVA)

 

  • Prohibited in news or news commentary programmes
  • Must not influence editorial independence
  • Must not directly encourage purchase or rental of goods or services 
  • The sponsored programme must show a message communicated at the beginning or end of the programme (or both) which indicates who has contributed to the financing
  • The message should contain the name, logotype or other mark of the sponsor. The message may not contain sales promotion features
  • If only part of a programme is sponsored, the sponsorship message should be communicated at the beginning or at the end of that part
  • In every case, sponsorship messages require that the integrity and value of the programme, or the rights of the holders of rights have not been violated
  • In the case of TV broadcasts, sponsorship messages can also be communicated in sports events with extended breaks
  • The sponsorship identification may be communicated on a split screen (in cases referenced in ss 4-6)

 

 

RADIO (Ch. 15)

 

  • Individuals who play a prominent role in radio broadcasts that primarily involve news or news commentaries may not appear in advertising (s.4)

 

 

Sponsorship on Radio

 

  • Radio programmes that mainly concern the news or contain news commentary may not be sponsored (s.8)
  • The media services provider of a sponsored radio programme is required to indicate who has contributed to the financing. Such a message should be communicated in an appropriate manner at the beginning and at the end of the programme or at one of these times
  • The sponsorship message should not contain sales promoting features (s.10)

 

 

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2. Cinema/Press/Outdoor

SECTION C: CINEMA, PRINT, OUTDOOR

 

 

CINEMA

 

  • The Content rules in Section B above apply to the Cinema channel, except those specifific to Broadcast. While the prohibition of advertising to children applies technically to television only, according to the Self-Regulatory Organisation RO “The prohibition on advertising to children specified for TV may possibly affect the design of cinema commercials to children.”
  • The Self-Regulatory code applied by RO is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code. Rules from the Marketing Act (EN) also apply

 

 

PRINT

 

Press, magazines, promotional literature, e.g. leaflets, brochures, etc.

 

 

 

OUTDOOR

 

  • The Content rules in Section B above apply to Outdoor media, except those specific to Broadcast 
  • The Self-Regulatory code applied by RO is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code. Rules from the Marketing Act (EN) also apply
  • This story appeared in the UK trade press June 2018: Stockholm to ban sexist ads from city streets. It is not clear whether the threat to remove 'offending' posters is carried out; what is clear is that there is an aggressive attitude from the authorities towards what might be considered to be ‘sexist’ advertising

 

 

The international association for OOH advertising is the World Out Of Home organisation (WOO); membership here

 

 

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3. Online Commercial Communications

SECTION C: ONLINE COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

CONTEXT

 

This section sets out the rules for the commercial online environment. Below this, specific channels such as email, marketers’ own websites, and OBA are covered. As the boundaries online can be less clear, and as space online is often advertiser-owned, the identification of what is advertising is significant, as advertising is subject to the rules in Owned and (some) Earned space as well as Paid. The definition of advertising is therefore important: ‘any communications produced directly by or on behalf of marketers intended primarily to promote products or to influence consumer behaviour’ Is from the applicable ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code

 

KEY RULES 

 

  • All of the Content rules set out in Section B apply online, except those specific to Broadcast 
  • The Self-Regulatory code on which RO bases its decisions is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, which applies to commercial communications online.  Rules from the Marketing Act (EN) also apply 
  • Non paid-for channels in Sweden, such as marketers’ own websites and SNS spaces, are also ‘in remit’ i.e. covered by the rules. Specifics are covered later in this section, but the principle applied in paid space also applies in unpaid or owned space: if it’s a marketing communication, it’s covered
  • The key Self-Regulatory document that guides Digital Marketing Communications (DMCs) in Europe is the European Advertising Standards Alliance's (EASA) DMC Best Practice. While it is not per se binding in Sweden, it’s based on the ICC code and includes some helpful guidance on what techniques are in remit in, for example, marketers’ own websites. The guidance is also referenced in that section below; in brief, both Viral and UGC are considered to be in remit only when endorsed by the marketer
  • The DSA: Consequences of the use of digital advertising from Dentons/ Lex August 30, 2022 covers the significant implications of this EU legislation (the Digital Services Act) on the advertising industry; in force 1 January 2024

 

SOCIAL MEDIA  

 

 

E-COMMERCE 

 

  • ‘The E-commerce Act and the Distance and Off-Premise Contracts (DAL) are important laws that you should know when selling goods and services over the Internet’ (Swedish Consumer Agency; link is to relevant section)
  • E-commerce guidance is also shown under Marketer’s Own Websites, and Electronic Communications; the Swedish Consumer Agency summary of requirements is here (SW); the E-commerce and Distance Contract acts are shown in our Links Section E 

 

 

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4. Cookies & OBA

SECTION C: COOKIES AND OBA

 

 

COOKIES

 

  • The Electronic Communications Act (SW) implemented the 'Cookie Directive' 2009/136/EC in Sweden
  • Data Protection in Sweden pre GDPR was primarily the domain of the Personal Data Act 1998:204, which was repealed and replaced by the new Data Protection Act 2018:218 (SW)
  • The key EU guidance in this context is Guidelines on consent under Regulation 2016/679 (May 2020). From pt. 7: 'The EDPB notes that the requirements for consent under GDPR are not considered to be an ‘additional obligation’, but rather as preconditions for lawful processing. Therefore, the GDPR conditions for obtaining valid consent are applicable in situations falling within the scope of the e-Privacy Directive.'
  • IAB Europe published in May 2020 their Guide to the Post Third-Party Cookie Era and in July 2021 Guide to Contextual Advertising
  • From ICAS' March 2022 newsletter: Google has published key actions for advertisers to take to prepare for a cookieless future as longer-term solutions for more advanced privacy-safe technology are still in development. Read the Privacy-Safe Growth Playbook here

 

Privacy issues should be reviewed with specialist advisors

 

ONLINE BEHAVIOURAL ADVERTISING (OBA)

 

  • EU Rules on Online Targeted Advertising from Covington and Burling/ Lex August 2022 sets out the existing targeted advertising rules and the impact of the DSA, in force January 2024
  • GDPR lawful processing rules may apply if data processing identifies individuals (see above). Definitive profiling guidance is from the Article 29 Working Party, now the European Data Protection Board here
  • Facebook's Meta to ban adverts that target people on 'sensitive topics' politics, race and sexual orientation; effective 19 January 2022
  • OBA, like any other advertising, is subject to the general rules set out in our earlier Content Section B, and any sector-specific rules 
  • We make the assumption that the great majority of behavioural advertising is via ad networks, that they will deploy cookies of various types, the relevant versions of which in this context are therefore third-party cookies; (see IAB Europe's Guide to the Post Third-Party Cookie Era)
  • The key guidance in Sweden was from the PTS (Post and Telecom Authority; Post- och telestyrelsen, PTS), which ‘removed its guidance on consent’ and referenced the EU guidance that we show in the introduction to this section, in Swedish here

International Self-Regulation

 

From the ICC Code Chapter C, Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications, article C22 provisions for OBA; extracts only

https://www.g-regs.com/downloads/ICCCode2018OBAbrefFN9.pdf

 

Application of notice and choice provisions

 

  • Any party participating in IBA should adhere to principles of notice and user control as set out below. Transparency of data information collection and use, and the ability for users and consumers to choose whether to share their data for IBA purposes is vital. The following guidance provides further clarification for how these principles apply to IBA

 

C22.1 Notice

 

  • Third parties and website operators should give clear and conspicuous notice on their websites describing their OBA data collection and use practices. Such notice should include clear descriptions of the type of data and purpose for which it is being collected and information on how consumers may exercise choice with regard to the collection and use of the data for IBA purposes. Notice should be provided through deployment of one or multiple mechanisms for clearly disclosing and informing Internet users about data collection and use practices.Examples of how third parties, and where applicable website operators can provide notice of the collection of data for IBA purposes include mechanisms like an icon that links to a disclosure either in or around the advertisement delivered on the web page where data for IBA purposes is collected or somewhere else on the web page; or through a web link to an industry-developed website(s) where third parties are individually listed

 

 

C22.2 User control

 

  • Third parties should make available a mechanism for web users to exercise their choice with respect to the collection and use of data for IBA. Such choice should be available via a link from the notice mechanisms described in footnote 9. (Footnote 9 reads: "The term ’minor’ refers to those below the legal purchase age, i.e. the age at which national legislation permits the purchase or consumption of such restricted products. In countries where purchase age and consumption age are not the same, the higher age applies. For the purpose of this Article, in countries where there is no legal purchase or consumption age minors are defined as those below the age of 18. The meaning of this term has been derived from the definition provided in the ICC Framework for Responsible Marketing Communications of Alcohol." This is clearly an error. We have been in touch with the ICC)

 

 

C22.6 Children

 

Segments specifically designed to target children for IBA purposes should not be created

 

 
EASA BPR and EDAA

 

  • From EASA’s Best Practice Recommendation on OBA: “In addition to the privacy notice on their own websites, third parties are required to provide an ‘enhanced notice’ to consumers whenever they are collecting or using data for OBA purposes on a website that is not operated by them. The purpose of the enhanced notice is to provide the web user with information about the identity of the company that is delivering the ad and about the fact that the ad is targeted based on previous web viewing behaviour.”
  • A good number of companies and organisations in Europe are supporters of and engaged in the European Self-Regulatory programme for OBA, administered by the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance EDAA http://www.edaa.eu. The OBA Icon 

 

 

  • which can be found on digital advertising and on web pages to signal that OBA is on those sites, is licensed to participating companies by the EDAA. The consumer is provided with a link to http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/, a pan-European website with information on how data is used, a mechanism to ‘turn off’ data collection and use, and a portal to connect with national Self-Regulatory Organisations for consumer complaint handling

 

 

 

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5. Emails & SMS

SECTION C: DIRECT ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

STANDARD RULES 

 

  • All of the Content rules set out in Section B apply online, including any sector-specific rules, except those rules for Broadcast channels
  • The Self-Regulatory code applied by RO is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, which applies to commercial communications online

  • Content and channel rules from the Marketing Act (EN) also apply online. See our Content Section B above

 

 

LEGISLATION

  •  In the case of data processing that identifies individuals, lawful processing rules from the GDPR may apply. Privacy issues should be reviewed with specialist advisors
  • See this November 2021 judgement from CJEU re unsolicited 'Inbox advertising' and related article from GALA/ Lexology here 
  • The arrival of GDPR into the regulatory framework might cause some uncertainty regarding consent issues in the context of direct electronic communications and the E-Privacy Directive. The key EU guidance in this context is 'Guidelines on consent under Regulation 2016/679' (May 2020). From pt. 7: 'The EDPB notes that the requirements for consent under GDPR are not considered to be an ‘additional obligation’, but rather as preconditions for lawful processing. Therefore, the GDPR conditions for obtaining valid consent are applicable in situations falling within the scope of the e-Privacy Directive.'
  • The Marketing Act 2008:486 (EN) implements, among others, the marcoms elements of Directive 2002/58/EC on Privacy and Electronic Communications, from which:

 

  • Unsolicited advertising, Section 19 of the Marketing Act. ‘A trader may, in the course of marketing to a natural person use electronic mail, a telefax or automatic calling device or any other similar automatic system for individual communication that is not operated by an individual, only if the natural person has consented to this in advance. Where a trader has obtained details of a natural person’s electronic address for electronic mail in the context of a sale of a product to that person, the consent requirement stipulated in the first paragraph shall not apply, provided that:
     

1. The natural person has not objected to the use of the electronic address for the purpose of marketing via electronic mail

2. The marketing relates to the trader’s own similar products and

3. The natural person is clearly and explicitly given the opportunity to object, simply and without charge, to the use of such details for marketing purposes, when they are collected and in conjunction with each subsequent marketing communication.’

The above ‘soft opt-in’ does not apply to SMS/MMS

 

  • Section 20. In marketing via electronic mail the communication shall at all times contain a valid address to which the recipient can send a request that the marketing cease. This also applies to marketing to a legal person (B2B)
 

 

The 'Blacklist'

 

  • Section 4 of the Marketing Act applies Annex I of the Directive 2005/29/EC in Swedish law. The Government has published the relevant annex in the Swedish Code of Statutes. Annex I is the ‘Blacklist’ - 31 commercial practices in all circumstances considered unfair. No. 26 of the list is Making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified under national law to enforce a contractual obligation. This is without prejudice to Article 10 of Directive 97/7/EC and Directives 95/46/EC (1) and 2002/58/EC.’

 

 

Invitation to Purchase

 

Defined in UCPD 2005/29/EC as ‘a commercial communication that indicates characteristics of the product and the price in a way appropriate to the means of the commercial communication used and thereby enables the consumer to make a purchase.’ From Section 12 of the Marketing Act (Implementing UCPD):

 

  • in a representation where the trader offers consumers a specific product with a stated price the following material information must be provided:
     

1. The product’s distinguishing characteristics to the extent appropriate to the media and product

2. Price and unit price stated as stipulated in Sections 7-10 of the Price Information Act (2004:347)

3. The identity and geographical address of the trader

4. Terms and conditions of payment, delivery, performance and processing of complaints if these deviate from normal practice in the industry or for the product in question

5. Information concerning the right of withdrawal or the right to cancel a purchase, which must be supplied to the consumer by law

 

  • Failure to clearly present the information listed under Section 12 will be regarded as misleading marketing. Marketing will also be deemed misleading if the trader in a representation offers consumers several specific products at a common price, without the offer containing material information under points 1-5 in the bullet point above
  • When assessing whether a representation is misleading under Section 10, third paragraph (omitting material information), ‘the limitations in time and space of the means of communication used may be taken into account, as well as the measures taken by the trader to provide the information in some other way’ (Section 11, Marketing Act)

 

 

SELF-REGULATION: ICC Code

 

From Chapter C, Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications, key extracts only; the full set of articles from the Chapter is here

 

 

 Article C1. Identification and transparency

 

  • Marketing communications should be properly identified as such in accordance with Article 7 of the General Provisions. Subject descriptors should be accurate and the commercial nature of the communication should be transparent to the consumer
  • Where a marketer has created or offered consideration for a product endorsement or review, the commercial nature should be transparent. In such cases, the endorsement or review should not state or imply that it is from or conferred by an individual consumer or independent body.
  • Marketers should take appropriate steps to ensure that the commercial nature of the content of a social network site or profile under the control or influence of a marketer is clearly indicated and that the rules and standards of acceptable commercial behaviour in these networks are respected
  • Any image, sound or text which, by its size, volume or any other visual characteristic, is likely to materially reduce or obscure the legibility and clarity of the offer should be avoided

 

 

Article C4. Presentation

 

  • Wherever appropriate, the essential points of the offer should be simply and clearly summarised together in one place. Essential points of the offer may be clearly repeated, but should not be scattered throughout the promotional material
  • When the presentation of an offer also features products not included in the offer, or where additional products need to be purchased to enable the consumer to use the product on offer, this should be made clear in the original offer
  • Consumers should always be informed beforehand of the steps leading to the placing of an order, a purchase, the concluding of a contract or any other commitment. If consumers are required to provide data for this purpose, they should be given an adequate opportunity to check the accuracy of their input before making any commitment
  • Where appropriate, the marketer should respond by accepting or rejecting the consumer’s order
  • Software or other technical devices should not be used to conceal or obscure any material factor, e.g. price and other sales conditions, likely to influence consumers’ decisions. Before making any commitment the consumer should be able to easily access the information needed to understand the exact nature of the product, as well as the purchase price, shipping and other costs of purchase

 

 

Article C8. Respecting consumer wishes

 

  • Marketers should respect a consumer’s wish not to receive direct marketing communications by e.g. signing on to a preference system or utilizing another system, such as mailbox stickers. Marketers who are communicating with consumers internationally should, where possible avail themselves of the appropriate preference service in the markets to which they are addressing their communications and respect consumers’ wishes not to receive such communications (see also General Provisions, article 19, data protection and privacy)
  • Direct marketing sent electronically should include a clear and transparent mechanism enabling the consumer to express the wish not to receive future solicitations

 

 

National 

 

 

The Self-Regulatory Organisation RO apply the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communication Code in Sweden, as above. From a more local source, The Swedish Direct Marketing Association (SWEDMA) publishes a series of Codes for different aspects of Direct Marketing

 

 

 

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6. Own Websites & SNS

SECTION C: MARKETERS' OWN WEBSITES

 

 

CONTEXT

 

The same principle that applies in paid space also applies in non-paid such as marketers’ own websites and SNS spaces: if the communication from the owner is advertising, it’s covered. Advertising is defined by the ICC Code, which is applicable as the general advertising code in Sweden, as  ‘any communications produced directly by or on behalf of marketers intended primarily to promote products or to influence consumer behaviour.’ This section also includes commentary/ guidance on social media and blogging/ influencers specifically, as well as some E-commerce rules. See our earlier Section A Overview for recent case law relating to Influencers and identification

 

STANDARD RULES

 

  • All of the Content rules set out in Section B apply to marketers’ own marcoms on their own website(s), except those specific to Broadcast. The definition of a marketing communication is therefore important – see above
  • Exemptions, i.e. those communications that do not qualify, are set out in the EASA Digital Marketing Communications Best Practice document: while the document is not binding, it’s the best source for understanding exemptions. Those include User-Generated Content (UGC), except when it has been endorsed by the marketer. The same principle applies to viral marketing communications
  • The Self-Regulatory code on which RO base their decisions is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code (the ICC Code, as linked above under Context) which applies to commercial communications online
  • Content and channel rules from the Marketing Act (EN) also apply online. See our Content Section B for key extracts. The translation of the Marketing Act linked here does not incorporate revisions introduced as a result of the transposition effective July 1, 2022 of the 2019/2161 Directive (the Omnibus Directive). Provisions, transposed by the government bill here (SW), include that platforms must make available the criteria deployed for search rankings and also confirm the integrity of consumer reviews
  • Re above, the Price Information Act is also affected by the 2019/2161 Directive; see Content Section B for new rules on price promotions - extracted Directive article here (EN)
  • Websites devoted to products or services that are subject to age restrictions such as Alcoholic Beverages, Gambling and Tobacco products should undertake measures to restrict access by minors (Art. C7, ICC Code)

 

 

E-COMMERCE

 

From the Law 2002: 562 (SW) on electronic commerce and other information society services which implemented Directive 2000/31/EC, the E-Commerce Directive. Key requirements in an E-commerce context here (EN)

 

We have been unable to trace where the additional clauses from the Directive in the linked document (under 'here' above) are specifically implemented in Swedish law. RO advise us that they are ‘covered’ under Sections 12 Material information and 10 Misleading omission respectively of the Marketing Act. The linked MA document is a translation, within which the links to the original MA in Swedish are volatile. This worked at the time of writing

 

 

 SOCIAL MEDIA/ BLOGS

 

 

 

Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen guidance 

 

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen's position on marketing through social media; in Swedish:

https://www.konsumentverket.se/globalassets/publikationer/produkter-och-tjanster/reklam-och-marknadsforing/vagledning-standpunkt-marknadsforing-sociala-medier-121205-konsumentverket.pdf

 

Translated here

 

The Nordic Consumer agency’s position on covert marketing; in Swedish

http://www.konsumentverket.se/globalassets/publikationer/produkter-och-tjanster/reklam-och-marknadsforing/vagledning-nordisk-standpunkt-om-dold-marknadsforing-konsumentverket.pdf

 

Translated here

 

LEGISLATION AND SELF-REGULATION: IDENTIFICATION

 

Section 9 of The Marketing Act:

  • All marketing shall be formulated and presented in such a way that it is clear that it is a matter of marketing. The party responsible for the marketing shall also be clearly indicated. However, this does not apply to representations whose sole purpose is to attract attention ahead of follow-up representations (note: this latter sentence exempts teaser advertising)

 

Article 7 of the ICC Code. Identification and transparency 

 

  • Marketing communications should be clearly distinguishable as such, whatever their form and whatever the medium used. When an advertisement, including so-called “native advertising”, appears in a medium containing news or editorial matter, it should be so presented that it is readily recognisable as an advertisement and where appropriate, labelled as such. The true commercial purpose of marketing communications should be transparent and not misrepresent their true commercial purpose. Hence, a communication promoting the sale of a product should not be disguised as, for example, market research, consumer surveys, user-generated content, private blogs, private postings on social media or independent reviews

 

Article 8. Identity of the marketer

 

  • The identity of the marketer should be transparent. Marketing communications should, where appropriate, include contact information to enable the consumer to get in touch with the marketer without difficulty. The above does not apply to communications with the sole purpose of attracting attention to communication activities to follow (e.g. 'teaser' ads)

 

Swedish Advertisers' Guide to Successful Influencer Marketing; January 2019

 

The document sets out a checklist of how to work with Influencers. It includes some guidance on the regulatory issues; key clause in this context is the first bullet point:

 

  • That the influencer commits to follow the Consumer Agency's social media guide (SW) and the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communication rules
  • While the link above takes you to a legitimate document, the most recent Consumer Agency Guidelines on Marketing in Social Media is here 
  • The most recent review of this text (March 2020) indicates that the Swedish Advertisers document is now behind a pay/ membership wall

 

 

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7. Native Advertising

SECTION C: NATIVE ADVERTISING

 

 

CONTEXT

 

Native advertising is online and offline advertising designed to fit in with its ‘habitat’, to give consumers a visually consistent experienceThe key issue is obviously that of advertising Identifiability, covered extensively in Self-Regulation and Legislation set out below 

 

 

KEY RULES

 

  • The ‘Native’ form of advertising is like any other advertising - it’s subject to the Content rules, in this context the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, applied in its Swedish version by Ro, the Self-Regulatory Organisation 
  • The Marketing Act (linked below) also applies  
  • The key general rule is that of identifiability/ disclosure. From the linked Code above:

 

 

Article 7 of the ICC Code. Identification and transparency 

 

  • Marketing communications should be clearly distinguishable as such, whatever their form and whatever the medium used. When an advertisement, including so-called “native advertising”, appears in a medium containing news or editorial matter, it should be so presented that it is readily recognisable as an advertisement and where appropriate, labelled as such. The true commercial purpose of marketing communications should be transparent and not misrepresent their true commercial purpose. Hence, a communication promoting the sale of a product should not be disguised as, for example, market research, consumer surveys, user-generated content, private blogs, private postings on social media or independent reviews

 

 

Article 8. Identity of the Marketer

 

  • The identity of the marketer should be transparent. Marketing communications should, where appropriate, include contact information to enable the consumer to get in touch with the marketer without difficulty. The above does not apply to communications with the sole purpose of attracting attention to communication activities to follow (e.g. so-called “teaser advertisements”

 

 

The ICC’s Guidance on Native Advertising includes:

 

1. Consumers should be able to recognise when something is an ad. This principle is covered in Articles 9 (of the main ICC Code; article shown above), B1, and D1 as follows:

Article B1 (in part): Sponsorship should be recognisable as such. Article D1 (in part): The commercial nature of product endorsements or reviews created by marketers should be clearly indicated and not be listed as being from an individual consumer or independent body.

2. The identity of the advertiser should be easily ascertainable. This principle is covered by Articles 10 (of the main ICC Code; article shown above) and 12, as follows: Article B12: Media Sponsorship (in part): Sponsored media properties should be identified as such by presentation of the sponsor’s name and/ or logo at the beginning, during and/ or at the end of the programme or publication content. This also applies to online material.

3. Disclosures should be prominent and understandable to consumers. This principle is covered in section 3 as follows: Article 3: Honesty: Marketing communications should be so framed as not to abuse the trust of consumers or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge. Relevant factors likely to affect consumers’ decisions should be communicated in such a way and at such a time that consumers can take them into account

 

 

LEGISLATION

 

  • The Marketing Act (EN) covers the same identification issue under Section 9: ‘All marketing shall be formulated and presented in such a way that it is clear that it is a matter of marketing. The party responsible for the marketing shall also be clearly indicated. However, this does not apply to representations whose sole purpose is to attract attention ahead of follow-up representations’ (note - i.e. teaser advertising)
  • Annex I of the UCPD 2005/29/EC - the 'Blacklist' of Commercial Practices considered 'unfair in all circumstances' - is passed into Swedish law under the Swedish Code of Statutes. The two relevant articles are:

 

  • 11. Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer (advertorial). This is without prejudice to Council Directive 89/552/EEC (1)
  • 22. Falsely claiming or creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer

 

 

OTHER GUIDANCE

 

 

RULING

 

One of Sweden’s major newspapers teamed up with a telecom operator who finances a particular section of the newspaper under the title ‘The Digital Life’. This section and all of its material, including promotions of products which the telecom operator was about to launch, appear as the newspaper’s editorial content; the only disclosure of the commercial nature of the presented material is the discrete appearance of the text ‘in collaboration with’ followed by the telecom operator's trademark. The Swedish Consumer Agency assessed that the practice was in breach of Point 11 of Annex I UCPD. Case reference: Ärenden 2016/53 and 2015/1000:

http://diabasweb.kov.se/arenlist.asp

 

 

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8. Telemarketing

 

 

Following feedback, we no longer cover Telemarketing 

9. Direct Postal Mail

SECTION C: DIRECT POSTAL MAIL

 

 

OVERVIEW

 

  • All of the Content rules set out in Section B apply to DM marcoms (marcoms are ‘any form of communication produced directly by or on behalf of marketers intended primarily to promote products or to influence consumer behaviour'), except those rules prohibiting appeal to children in broadcast advertising
  • This section does not address ‘mail drops’ as in the delivery of unaddressed leaflets, flyers etc., though those may remain subject to advertising content rules. These paragraphs cover addressed mail (including those addressed to ‘the occupier’ etc.) in ‘hard’ form
  • The Self-Regulatory code applied by RO is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code.  Content and channel rules from the Marketing Act also apply in DM. See our Content Section B
  • The Data Processing legislation that applies before transmission is not shown here; be aware that if Data Processing includes personal data (that which identifies an individual) then it may be subject to the GDPR, directly applicable in all member states. Swedish legislation complements the GDPR with the new Data Protection Act 2018:218 (SW), which repeals and replaces the former Personal Data Act 1998:204
  • The following rules address the required information in the communication, the opt-out process, and consumer consent in order to send it

 

 

LEGISLATION

 

  • Section 21 of the Marketing Act provides for Opt-out consent: ‘A trader may use methods for individual distance communication other than those referred to in Section 19 (electronic systems), unless the natural person has clearly objected to the use of such methods’
  • Direct mail marketing is therefore allowed to individual subscribers unless they have clearly objected to receiving advertising; applicable to B2C and not to B2B. The opt-out principle should apply to B2B in absence of regulation, but legal advice should be sought in the event of uncertainty
  • Section 4 of the Marketing Act applies Annex I of the Directive 2005/29/EC in Swedish law. The Government has published the relevant annex in the Swedish Code of Statutes. Annex I is the ‘Blacklist’ – 31 commercial practices in all circumstances considered unfair. No. 26 of the list is ‘Making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified under national law to enforce a contractual obligation.’

 

 

Invitation to purchase

 

Defined in EU legislation UCPD 2005/29/EC as ‘a commercial communication that indicates characteristics of the product and the price in a way appropriate to the means of the commercial communication used and thereby enables the consumer to make a purchase.’ DM can include this kind of advertising, hence the rules below. From Section 12 of the Marketing Act, which implements the UCPD, among others:

 

  • In a representation where the trader offers consumers a specific product with a stated price the following material information must be provided:
     

1. The product’s distinguishing characteristics to the extent appropriate to the media and product

2. Price and unit price stated as stipulated in Sections 7-10 of the Price Information Act (2004:347)

3. The identity and geographical address of the trader

4. Terms and conditions of payment, delivery, performance and processing of complaints if these deviate from normal practice in the industry or for the product in question

5. Information concerning the right of withdrawal or the right to cancel a purchase, which must be supplied to the consumer by law
 

  • Failure to clearly present the information listed under Section 12 will be regarded as misleading marketing. Marketing will also be deemed misleading if the trader in a representation offers consumers several specific products at a common price, without the offer containing material information under points 1-5 in the bullet point above

 

 

SELF-REGULATION

 

The ICC code

 

Rules applicable to 'Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications' (scope includes non-digital) from Chaper C of the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code are here. Key extracts (there are 22 articles in Chapter C) are:

 

 

Article C1. Identification and transparency

 
  • Marketing communications should be properly identified as such in accordance with Article 7 of the General Provisions. Subject descriptors should be accurate and the commercial nature of the communication should be transparent to the consumer
  • ​Where a marketer has created or offered consideration for a product endorsement or review, the commercial nature should be transparent. In such cases, the endorsement or review should not state or imply that it is from or conferred by an individual consumer or independent body
  • Any image, sound or text which, by its size, volume or any other visual characteristic, is likely to materially reduce or obscure the legibility and clarity of the offer should be avoided
 
 

Article C4. Presentation

 
  • Wherever appropriate, the essential points of the offer should be simply and clearly summarised together in one place. Essential points of the offer may be clearly repeated, but should not be scattered throughout the promotional material
  • When the presentation of an offer also features products not included in the offer, or where additional products need to be purchased to enable the consumer to use the product on offer, this should be made clear in the original offer
  • Consumers should always be informed beforehand of the steps leading to the placing of an order, a purchase, the concluding of a contract or any other commitment. If consumers are required to provide data for this purpose, they should be given an adequate opportunity to check the accuracy of their input before making any commitment. Where appropriate, the marketer should respond by accepting or rejecting the consumer’s order

 

 

Article C8. Respecting consumer wishes

 

  • Marketers should respect a consumer’s wish not to receive direct marketing communications by e.g. signing on to a preference system or utilizing another system, such as mailbox stickers. Marketers who are communicating with consumers internationally should, where possible avail themselves of the appropriate preference service in the markets to which they are addressing their communications and respect consumers’ wishes not to receive such communications (see also General Provisions, article 19, data protection and privacy)
  • Direct marketing sent electronically should include a clear and transparent mechanism enabling the consumer to express the wish not to receive future solicitations

 

 

SWEDMA

 

 

The Swedish Direct Marketing Association is a well-established and respected trade association, publishing a number of codes that reflect accurately relevant legislation. Some of those codes can be found here (SW)

 

 

 

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10. Event Sponsorship/ Field Marketing

SECTION C: EVENTS/ SPONSORSHIP

 

 

STANDARD RULES 

 

  • Sponsorship material associated with an event, i.e. collateral material such as leaflets, brochures etc., is subject to the rules set out in our Content Section B, except those rules specific to Broadcast media; the applicable Self-Regulatory Code in Sweden is the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code (EN)
  • The general sponsorship rules, i.e. those that cover issues of respect of the sponsored property, ambushing, data capture etc. and that apply to all product categories are from Chapter B of the ICC Code linked above; clauses follow. For scope, definitions etc., see the linked Code

 

 
 B1.  Principles governing sponsorship
 
  • All sponsorship should be based on contractual obligations between the sponsor and the sponsored party. Sponsors and sponsored parties should set out clear terms and conditions with all other partners involved, to define their expectations regarding all aspects of the sponsorship deal
  • Sponsorship should be recognisable as such
  • The terms and conduct of sponsorship should be based upon the principle of good faith between all parties to the sponsorship
  • There should be clarity regarding the specific rights being sold and confirmation that these are available for sponsorship from the rights holder. Sponsored parties should have the absolute right to decide on the value of the sponsorship rights that they are offering and the appropriateness of the sponsor with whom they contract
 
 
B2. Autonomy and self-determination

 

  • Sponsorship should respect the autonomy and self-determination of the sponsored party in the management of its own activities and properties, provided the sponsored party fulfils the obligations set out in the sponsorship agreement
 
 
B3. Imitation and confusion
 
  • Sponsors and sponsored parties, as well as other parties involved in a sponsorship, should avoid imitation of the representation of other sponsorships where such imitation might mislead or generate confusion, even if applied to non-competitive products, companies or events
 
 
B4.  Ambushing of sponsored properties
 
  • No party should seek to give the impression that it is a sponsor of any event or of media coverage of an event, whether sponsored or not, if it is not in fact an official sponsor of the property or of media coverage. The sponsor and sponsored party should each take care to ensure that any actions taken by them to combat ‘ambush marketing’ are proportionate and that they do not damage the reputation of the sponsored property nor impact unduly on members of the general public
 
 
B5.  Respect for the sponsorship property and the sponsor
 
  • Sponsors should take particular care to safeguard the inherent artistic, cultural, sporting or other content of the sponsorship property and should avoid any abuse of their position which might damage the identity, dignity, or reputations of the sponsored party or the sponsorship property
  • The sponsored party should not obscure, deform or bring into disrepute the image or trademarks of the sponsor, or jeopardise the goodwill or public esteem associated with them
 
 
B6.  The sponsorship audience
 
  • The audience should be clearly informed of the existence of a sponsorship with respect to a particular event, activity, programme or person and the sponsor’s own message should not be likely to cause offence. Due note should be taken of existing professional ethics of the sponsored party
  • This article is not, however, intended to discourage sponsorship of avant-garde or potentially controversial artistic/cultural activities, or to encourage sponsors to exercise censorship over a sponsored party’s message
 
 
 B7.  Data capture/data sharing
 
  • If personal data is used in connection with sponsorship, the provisions of article 19 are applicable
 
 
B8.  Artistic and historical objects 
 
  • Sponsorship should not be conducted in such a way as to endanger artistic or historical objects
  • Sponsorship which aims to safeguard, restore, or maintain cultural, artistic or historical properties or their diffusion, should respect the public interest related to them
 
 
 B9.  Social and environmental sponsorship
 
  • Both sponsors and sponsored parties should take into consideration the potential social or environmental impact of the sponsorship when planning, organising and carrying out the sponsorship
  • Any sponsorship message fully or partially based on a claim of positive (or reduced negative) social and/or environmental impact should be substantiated in terms of actual benefits to be obtained. Parties to the sponsorship should respect the principles set out in the ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development (available from www.iccwbo.org)
  • Any environmental claim made with respect to the sponsorship should conform to the principles set out in chapter D, Environmental Claims in Marketing Communications
 
 
B10.  Charities and humanitarian sponsorship
 
  • Sponsorship of charities and other humanitarian causes should be undertaken with sensitivity and care, to ensure that the work of the sponsored party is not adversely affected
 
 
 B11. Multiple sponsorship
 
  • Where an activity or event requires or allows several sponsors, the individual contracts and agreements should clearly set out the respective rights, limits and obligations of each sponsor, including, but not limited to, details of any exclusivity. In particular, each member of a group of sponsors should respect the defined sponsorship fields and the allotted communication tasks, avoiding any interference that might unfairly alter the balance between the contributions of the various sponsors
  • The sponsored party should inform any potential sponsor of all the sponsors already a party to the sponsorship
  • The sponsored party should not accept a new sponsor without first ensuring that it does not conflict with any rights of sponsors who are already contracted and, where appropriate, informing the existing sponsors
 
 
B12.  Media sponsorship
 
  • The content and scheduling of sponsored media properties should not be unduly influenced by the sponsor so as to compromise the responsibility, autonomy or editorial independence of the broadcaster, programme producer or media owner, except to the extent that the sponsor is permitted by relevant legislation to be the programme producer or co-producer, media owner or financier
  • Sponsored media properties should be identified as such by presentation of the sponsor’s name and/ or logo at the beginning, during and/or at the end of the programme or publication content. This also applies to online material
  • Particular care should be taken to ensure that there is no confusion between sponsorship of an event or activity and the media sponsorship of that event, especially where different sponsors are involved
 
B13.  Responsibility
 
  • As sponsorship is conceptually based on a contract of mutual benefit, the onus for observing the Code falls jointly on the sponsor and the sponsored party, who share the ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the sponsorship, whatever its kind or content
  • Anyone taking part in the planning, creation or execution of any sponsorship has a degree of responsibility, as defined in article 23 of the General Provisions, for ensuring the observance of the Code towards those affected, or likely to be affected, by the sponsorship

 

 

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The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) may also be able to help/ inform

 

 

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11. Sales Promotion

SECTION C: SALES PROMOTIONS

 

 

CONTEXT

 

This website was created to provide international rules on marketing communications; it does not claim authority on specific Sales Promotions (SP) regulation, especially retail legislation. However, in the course of extensive research in marketing, relevant rules will be included. National Self-Regulatory codes and Consumer Protection legislation, for example, are checked for any provisions that affect SP and included below

 

  • Sales promotional material is required to observe the Content rules set out in our Section B, including broadcast rules (that prohibit appeal to children) in the event that a promotion is in that channel
  • This piece from Wistrand via Lexology ‘Prohibited and controlled advertising in Sweden’ includes guidance/ regulatory background for e.g. lotteries and promotional contests 
 

LEGISLATION

 

Pricing is obviously relevant to Sales Promotions. In March 2022, in force July 1,the Swedish government published a bill here (SW) transposing the 'Omnibus Directive' 2019/2161, which inter alia amended the Product Price Directive. Provisions from that include new promotional pricing rules, set out in the article extracted from the Directive here and transposed under article 2.2 of the Swedish bill 

 

  •  Annex I of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC, transposed in Section 4 of Sweden’s Marketing Act (EN; does not include 2019/2161 amends), sets out the commercial practices ‘in all circumstances considered unfair’. Shown below are only the most relevant practices for this SP context:
     
    • 5. Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply or to procure another trader to supply, those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered (bait advertising)
    • 6. Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price and then: (a) refusing to show the advertised item to consumers; or (b) refusing to take orders for it or deliver it within a reasonable time; or (c) demonstrating a defective sample of it, with the intention of promoting a different product (bait and switch)
    • 7. Falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very limited time, or that it will only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice
    • 14. Establishing, operating or promoting a pyramid promotional scheme where a consumer gives consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the introduction of other consumers into the scheme rather than from the sale or consumption of products
    • 15. Claiming that the trader is about to cease trading or move premises when he is not
    • 16. Claiming that products are able to facilitate winning in games of chance
    • 19. Claiming in a commercial practice to offer a competition or prize promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent
    • 20. Describing a product as ‘gratis’, ‘free’, ‘without charge’ or similar if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the commercial practice and collecting or paying for delivery of the item

 

MORE LEGISLATION

 

The E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC is part-implemented in Sweden by the Law 2002: 562 (SW) on electronic commerce and other information society services

 

The Directive carries two additional requirements, not shown in the Swedish law linked above and not explicit in the Marketing Act, under Article 6 of the Directive:
 

C) Promotional offers, such as discounts, premiums and gifts, where permitted in the Member State where the service provider is established, shall be clearly identifiable as such, and the conditions which are to be met to qualify for them shall be easily accessible and be presented clearly and unambiguously
D) Promotional competitions or games, where permitted in the Member State where the service provider is established, shall be clearly identifiable as such, and the conditions for participation shall be easily accessible and be presented clearly and unambiguously

 

We have been unable to trace where these clauses are specifically implemented in Swedish law. RO advise us that they are ‘covered’ under sections 12 (Material information) and 10 (Misleading omission) respectively of the Marketing Act (EN). The Information requirements under the Self-Regulatory ICC Code Chapter A below are more specific:

 

 

SELF-REGULATION

 

From Chapter A, Sales Promotion, of the  ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code. Extracts:

 
A2. Terms of the offer

 

  • Sales promotions should be so devised as to enable the consumer to identify the terms of the offer easily and clearly, including any limitations. Care should be taken not to exaggerate the value of the promotional item or to obscure or conceal the price of the main product

 

A4. Administration of promotions

 

  • Sales promotions should be administered with adequate resources and supervision, anticipated to be required, including appropriate precautions to ensure that the administration of the offer meets the consumers' reasonable expectations

 

In particular:

 

  • The availability of promotional items should be sufficient to meet anticipated demand consistent with the express terms of the offer. If delay is unavoidable, consumers should be advised promptly and necessary steps taken to adjust the promotion of the offer. Promoters should be able to demonstrate that they have made, before the event, a reasonable estimate of the likely response. Where a purchase or a series of purchases are a precondition for obtaining the promotional item, promoters should ensure promotional items are sufficiently available to match the number of purchases being made
  • Defective goods or inadequate services should be replaced, or appropriate financial compensation given. Any costs reasonably incurred by consumers as a direct result of any such shortcoming should be reimbursed immediately on request
  • Complaints should be efficiently and properly handled

 

A5. Safety and suitability

 

  • Care should be taken to ensure that promotional items, provided they are properly used, do not expose consumers, intermediaries, or any other persons or their property to any harm or danger
  • Promoters should ensure that their promotional activities are consistent with the principles of social responsibilities contained in the General Provisions, and in particular take reasonable steps to prevent unsuitable or inappropriate materials from reaching children

 

 A6. Presentation to consumers

 

  • Complex rules should be avoided
  • Rules should be drawn up in language that consumers can easily understand
  • The chances of winning prizes should not be overstated
INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS

 

  • Sales promotions should be presented in such a way as to ensure that consumers are made aware, before making a purchase, of conditions likely to affect their decision to purchase

 

Information should include, where relevant:

 

  • Clear instructions on the method of obtaining or participating in the promotional offer, e.g. conditions for obtaining promotional items, including any liability for costs, or taking part in prize promotions
  • Main characteristics of the promotional items offered
  • Any time limit on taking advantage of the promotional offer
  • Any restrictions on participation (e.g. geographical or age-related), availability of promotional items, or any other limitations on stocks. In the case of limited availability, consumers should be properly informed of any arrangements for substituting alternative items or refunding money
  • The value of any voucher or stamp offered where a monetary alternative is available
  • Any expenditure involved, including costs of shipping and handling and terms of payment
  • The full name and address of the promoter and an address to which complaints can be directed (if different from the address of the promoter)

 

Promotions claiming to support a charitable cause should not exaggerate the contribution derived from the campaign; before purchasing the promoted product consumers should be informed of how much of the price will be set aside for the cause

 

 

Information in prize promotions

 

  • Where a sales promotion includes a prize promotion, the following information should be given to consumers, or at least made available on request, prior to participation and not conditional on purchasing the main product:

 

  • Any rules governing eligibility to participate in the prize promotion
  • Any costs associated with participation, other than for communication at or below standard rate (mail, telephone and other devices)
  • Any restriction on the number of entries
  • The number, value and nature of prizes to be awarded and whether a cash alternative may be substituted for a prize
  • In the case of a skill contest, the nature of the contest and the criteria for judging the entries
  • The selection procedure for the award of prizes
  • The closing date of the competition
  • When and how the results will be made available
  • Whether the consumer may be liable to pay tax as a result of winning a prize
  • The time period during which prizes may be collected
  • Where a jury is involved, the composition of the jury
  • Any intention to use winners or winning contributions in post-event activities and the terms on which these contributions may be used
 

The remaining articles are

 

A7.  Presentation to Intermediaries
A8 . Particular Obligations of Promoters
A9.  Particular Obligations of Intermediaries
 A10 . Responsibility
 
These are spelt out here:
 
 
 
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D. Advice & Clearance

SECTION D SRO SERVICES

 

 

The Advertising Ombudsman can be reached via e-mail ro@reklamombudsmannen.org; their website in English can be found at http://www.reklamombudsmannen.org/eng/

 

Specific copy advice is recently available in Sweden. RO does not pre-clear 

 

 

CLEARANCE 

 

 

Direct to broadcaster

Allow 3-5 days TV/VOD

For help contact the Traffic Bureau administration@trafficbureau.net

 

 

 

E. Links

SECTION E SOURCES/ LINKS

 

 

EUROPEAN LEGISLATION

 

GDPR

 

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of The European Parliament and of The Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation). The GDPR came into force May 25 2018. The GDPR is accompanied by Directive 2016/680, which is largely concerned with supervising procedures, and which should have been transposed into member states’ legislation by 6th May 2018.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2016/679/oj 

 

European Data Protection Authority

Article 29 Working Party/ EDPB





The Article 29 Working Party was established under article 29 (hence the name) of Directive 95/46/EC, the Personal Data Protection Directive. The arrival of the GDPR heralded the demise/ re-working of A29WP, and its replacement by the European Data Protection Board:

https://edpb.europa.eu/.

All documents from the former Article 29 Working Party remain available on this newsroom

Article 29 Working Party archives from 1997 to November 2016: 

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/article-29/documentation/index_en.htm.

Four more recent and significant documents:

 

 

 

Commercial practices: UCPD


Directive 2005/29/EC of The European Parliament and of The Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC and Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004 (the ‘Unfair Commercial Practices Directive’ UCPD). This is the legislation that most impacts marketing and advertising in Europe and whose origins form the foundations of Self-Regulatory regimes. The core provisions relate to unfair commercial practices, defined as ‘likely to materially distort the economic behaviour with regard to the product of the average consumer.’ In turn, unfair commercial practices are those that:

 

  1. are misleading (misleading actions or misleading by omission) as set out in Articles 6 and 7, or
  2. are aggressive as set out in Articles 8 and 9: ‘use of harassment, coercion and undue influence.’ This clause more often relates to ‘active conduct’.

 

Annex I (known as ‘the blacklist’) contains the list of those commercial practices which ‘shall in all circumstances be regarded as unfair’. These are the only commercial practices which can be deemed to be unfair without a case-by-case test (i.e. assessing the likely impact of the practice on the average consumer's economic behaviour). The list includes e.g. encouragement to children to ‘pester’ (28), clear identification of commercial source in advertorial (11) and making ‘persistent and unwanted solicitations’ (26). The UCPD includes several provisions on promotional practices e.g. Article 6 (d) on the existence of a specific price advantage, Annex I point 5 on bait advertising, point 7 on special offers, points 19 and 31 on competitions and prize promotion, and point 20 on free offers. Some amendments to Directive 2005/29/EC are provided in Directive 2019/2161 linked below; these are supposed to be transposed by November 2021 and in force in member states by May 2022.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2005/29/oj
​Guidance: On 17 December 2021, the European Commission adopted a new Commission Notice on the interpretation and application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (‘the UCPD Guidance’). 

 

The Omnibus Directive 

 

Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directives 98/6/EC, 2005/29/EC and 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the better enforcement and modernisation of Union consumer protection rules. This directive, which 'aims to strengthen consumer rights through enhanced enforcement measures and increased transparency requirements', sets out some new information requirements related to search rankings and consumer reviews under the UCPD 2005/29/EC and pricing information under Directive 2011/83/EU in the context of automated decision-making and profiling of consumer behaviour, and price reduction information under the Product Pricing Directive 98/6/EC. More directly related to this database, and potentially significant for multinational advertisers, is the clause that amends article 6 (misleading actions) of the UCPD adding ‘(c) any marketing of a good, in one Member State, as being identical to a good marketed in other Member States, while that good has significantly different composition or characteristics, unless justified by legitimate and objective factors’. Recitals related to this clause, which provide some context, are here. Helpful explanatory piece on the Omnibus Directive 2019/2161 from A&L Goodbody via Lexology here. Provisions are supposed to be transposed by November 2021 and in force in member states by May 2022. 
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/2161/oj

 

Pricing

 

Directive 98/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 on consumer protection in the indication of the prices of products offered to consumers. The purpose of this Directive is to stipulate indication of the selling price and the price per unit of measurement of products offered by traders to consumers in order to improve consumer information and to facilitate comparison of prices (Article 1). For the purposes of this Directive, selling price shall mean the final price for a unit of the product, or a given quantity of the product, including VAT and all other taxes (Article 2a). While this legislation seems prima facie most suited to ‘goods on shelves’ as it requires unit prices (the final price, including VAT and all other taxes, for one kilogramme, one litre, one metre, one square metre or one cubic metre of the product), the Directive was used as the basis for a significant ECJ judgement  on car pricing in advertising. Some amendments to Directive 98/6/EC related to price reduction information are provided in Directive 2019/2161 linked above; these are supposed to be transposed by November 2021 and in force in member states by May 28, 2022. The article concerned, 6a, is extracted here. Commission guidance on its application is below this entry.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/2161/oj

 

Commission notice: Guidance on the interpretation and application of Article 6a of Directive 98/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on consumer protection in the indication of the prices of products offered to consumers:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/c_2021_9328_1_pid-guidance_en.pdf

 

 

Comparative advertising

 

Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 concerning misleading and comparative advertising. Article 4 of the MCAD provides that comparative advertising is permitted when eight conditions are met. The most significant of those for our purposes are a) it is not misleading within the meaning of Articles 2 (b), 3 and 8 (1) of this Directive or articles 6 and 7 of Directive 2005/29/EC (see above) and b) it compares goods or services meeting the same needs or intended for the same purpose. There are other significant conditions related to denigration of trademarks and designation of origin, imitation and the creation of confusion. Codified version:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32006L0114

 

Audiovisual media

 

Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services: the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, or AVMSD. This is the codified version of the much-amended Directive 89/552/EEC and represents the core European broadcast legislation, providing significant structural and content rules, applied largely consistently across member states.  From a marcoms perspective, the core articles are 9 (Discrimination, safety, the environment, minors and some prohibitions), 10 (Sponsorship), 11 (Product Placement) and 22 (Alcoholic beverages rules).

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32010L0013

 

AVMSD amendment

 

Directive (EU) 2018/1808 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 amending Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) in view of changing market realities. The background to this significant development of the AVMSD is here. In broad terms, the Directive addresses the changes in media consumption in recent years and pays particular attention to the protection of minors in that context, extending rules to e.g. shared content on SNS. There are ‘strengthened provisions to protect children from inappropriate audiovisual commercial communications for foods high in fat, salt and sodium and sugars, including by encouraging codes of conduct at EU level, where necessary’. See article 4a. Rules for alcoholic beverages are extended to on-demand audiovisual media services, but those provisions (social/ sexual success etc.) are not amended.

Article 28b addresses video- sharing platform providers (VSPS), containing requirements to prevent violent, criminal, or otherwise offensive material and bringing the 'general' AV commercial communication rules such as those for the environment, human dignity. discrimination, minors etc. into these platforms. VSPS must also provide a functionality for users who upload user-generated videos to declare whether they contain commercial communications as far as they know or can be reasonably expected to know; VSPS must accordingly inform users. There has been some debate as to whether vloggers/ influencers are in scope, i.e. they or their output constitute an audiovisual media service. Definitive opinion/ recommendation is from the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) paper 'Analysis and recommendations concerning the regulation of vloggers.' The annex of the paper contains national examples. The Directive entered into force 18th December 2018; member states are required to have transposed into national law by 19th September 2020. 

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2018/1808/oj

 

E-privacy

 

Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications, the ‘E-privacy Directive’). This Directive ‘provides for the harmonisation of the national provisions required to ensure an equivalent level of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, and in particular the right to privacy and confidentiality, with respect to the processing of personal data in the electronic communication sector.’ The directive was amended by Directive 2009/136/EC; the ‘Cookie directive’, provisions found under article 5.3 of the E-Privacy Directive. Article 13 for Consent and ‘soft opt-in’ requirements

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2002/58

 

The ‘Cookie Directive’ 2009/136/EC amending Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector. Article 2 provides amends to the E-privacy Directive above

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32009L0136

 

 

E-privacy Regulation draft (10 February 2021)

 

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications):

https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6087-2021-INIT/en/pdf

Statement on the ePrivacy Regulation and the future role of Supervisory Authorities and the EDPB. Adopted on 19 November 2020:
https://edpb.europa.eu/sites/default/files/files/file1/edpb_statement_20201119_eprivacy_regulation_en.pdf

February 2022 Clifford Chance/ Lex E-Privacy check-in: where we are, and where we're headed
March 2022 Härting Rechtsanwälte/ Lex ePrivacy Regulation: EU Council agrees on the draft

 

 

E-commerce

 

Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market ('Directive on electronic commerce')‘information society services’ are defined as ‘any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request of a recipient of services.’ Article 5 covers general information such as contact details from the ‘service provider’, which information should be made easily, directly and permanently accessible to the recipients of the service’. The Directive also sets out under article 6 more specific information requirements for commercial communications which are part of, or constitute, an information society service. These include identifiability requirements and accessibility to conditions for promotions.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32000L0031

 

 

NATIONAL LEGISLATION

 

The Marketing Act

 

The Marketing Act SFS 2008:486 (Marknadsföringslagen - MFL); entry into force 01/07/2008. This act, highly influential in marketing/ advertising in Sweden, implements the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC and some provisions of the ePrivacy Directive, and aims to prevent marketing that is unfair to consumers and traders (Section 1). It incorporates rules from Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive (MCAD) 84/450/EEC now codified in the form of 2006/114/EC, sets out general rules on commercial communications and ‘invitations to purchase’ and covers B2C and B2B relationships. Relevant sections are 9, 19, 20, 20a, 21 which incorporate provisions of Article 13 E-Privacy Directive (as amended by 2009/136/EC) concerning the use of unsolicited advertising via email. Consolidated text, including the amends referenced in the italicised para below introduced by 2022:656 and effective September 1, 2022:

http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Lagar/Svenskforfattningssamling/Marknadsforingslag-2008486_sfs-2008-486/

https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/dokument-lagar/dokument/svensk-forfattningssamling/marknadsforingslag-2008486_sfs-2008-486

English version of 2008:486 (not up to date; last updated 03/01/2011)

http://www.government.se/content/1/c6/05/03/14/6c7aa374.pdf

Updated, but not including amends related to the 2019/2161 Directive:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWMktingActTransupdate.pdf

 

In March 2022, the Swedish government published a bill 2021/22:174 linked here (SW) Ett moderniserat konsumentskydd (Modernised consumer protection) which established the transposition of the 'Omnibus' Directive 2019/2161. The Marketing Act is the recipient for the amends the Directive made to the UCPD which for our purposes were three, essentially: the requirement to make available search ranking criteria, that traders ensure that consumer reviews originate from consumers who have actually used or purchased the product and the prohibition of 'any marketing of a good, in one Member State, as being identical to a good marketed in other Member States, while that good has significantly different composition or characteristics, unless justified by legitimate and objective factors.’ (from the Directive). The government bill sets out these amends under article 2.4. with detail thereafter.

 

Price

 

The Price Information Act (SFS 2004:347 Prisinformationslag). This act requires that consumers be given accurate and clear pricing information on products. The Marketing Act states in Section 12 (2) that where a product is marketed with a stated price, the price and unit price must be expressed as stipulated in Articles 7-10 of the Price Information Act. This provision has been confirmed by the regulatory authority – the Swedish Consumer Agency – whose guidance on price information is in the form of Regulation KOVFS 2012:1 (Section 2). In March 2022, the Swedish government published a bill 2021/22:174 linked here (SW) Ett moderniserat konsumentskydd (Modernised consumer protection) which established the transposition of the 'Omnibus' Directive 2019/2161. That Directive amended the Product Price Directive 98/6/EC to introduce new promotional pricing rules in article 6a here which require that 'Any announcement of a price reduction shall indicate the prior price applied by the trader for a determined period of time prior to the application of the price reduction.' (from the Directive; extract only). The Price Information Act is amended accordingly, under article 2.2. of the government bill. The link below includes the amends under section 7a, in force September 1, 2022.​

http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Lagar/Svenskforfattningssamling/Prisinformationslag-2004347_sfs-2004-347/

Unofficial, non-binding English translation here; does not include 2022 amends

 

 

Channel legislation

 

TV and radio

 

Radio and Television Act (SFS 2010:696). This Act implements the Audiovisual Media Service (AVMS) Directive 2010/13/EU. It applies to Broadcasters established in Sweden (Sect. 3 (1)). Specific provisions are for product placement (Ch. 6), sponsorship (Ch. 7) and commercial communications (Ch. 8). Provisions for radio advertising are covered in Chapter 15; the Act also covers on-demand TV. Provisions exceed the AVMS Directive in as much as advertising ‘may not aim to appeal to children under the age of twelve’; programmes primarily aimed at children U12 may not be surrounded or interrupted by advertising (Ch. 7, 8 (3) & Ch. 6 (2)). Consolidated text (Swedish):

http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Lagar/Svenskforfattningssamling/Radio--och-tv-lag-2010696_sfs-2010-696/

GRS translation of key provisions:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SERadio_TVActTSc.pdf 

This act was amended effective November 2020 by SFS 2020:875 in order to address the amends to the AVMSD by Directive 2018/1808 (see above, or the linked file). Amended act here in Swedish:

 

Broadcast authority

 

The Swedish Broadcasting Authority (Myndigheten för Radio och TV). Formed 1 Aug 2010 by merging the previous agencies the Broadcasting Commission and the Swedish Radio and TV Authority. The Authority make decisions regarding licenses, fees and registration for radio and television, as well as supervising radio and television broadcasts, on-demand services and teletext.

http://www.radioochtv.se/en/

http://www.radioochtv.se/Tillstand-och-registrering/Regler-om-tillstand/

 

 

Privacy

 

Data processing

 

Data Protection pre-GDPR (see above) was primarily the domain of the Personal Data Act 1998:204, which was repealed and replaced by the new Data Protection Act 2018:218 (SW). In force 25 May 2018. Lag (2018:218) med kompletterande bestämmelser till EU:s dataskyddsförordning. The Data Protection Authority Datainspektionen makes it clear that the new law complements GDPR but does not replace any of its aspects. The new law has not been translated; original Swedish here:

https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/dokument-lagar/dokument/svensk-forfattningssamling/lag-2018218-med-kompletterande-bestammelser_sfs-2018-218

 

 

Data authority

 

National regulatory authority: Datainspektionen. The Data Protection Authority (DPA) is a public authority, a central government agency which reports to the Ministry of Justice. Its principal task is to protect the individual's privacy in the information society.

http://www.datainspektionen.se/  and in English:

http://www.datainspektionen.se/in-english/  

 

....................................................................................

 

 

Electronic communications

 

The Electronic Communications Act 2003:389 (Lag om elektronisk kommunikation - LEK) Issue 12/06/2003. Entry into force 25/07/2003. The ECA applies to electronic communication services and networks, including internet and telecommunication services and networks. The Act implements the E-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC; an amendment in the form of Act 2011:590, implemented the Citizens Rights Directive 2009/136/EC, also known as the Cookie Directive. Entry into force 01/07/2011 (transitional provisions). Section 18 transposes Article 5 (3) E-Privacy Directive, courtesy of 2009/136/EC amendment. Consolidated text:

http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Lagar/Svenskforfattningssamling/Lag-2003389-om-elektronisk-_sfs-2003-389/#overgang

 

E-commerce

 

Act on electronic commerce and other information society services SFS 2002:562 (E-handelslagen) Issued 06/06/2002. Entry into force 01/07/2002. The law implements the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC, laying down a minimum level of information required from Information Service providers. Relevant articles 8 and 9:

http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Lagar/Svenskforfattningssamling/Lag-2002562-om-elektronisk-_sfs-2002-562/

There’s a summary of requirements of the E-commerce act from the Swedish Consumer Agency here:

https://www.konsumentverket.se/for-foretag/olika-saljkanaler/regler-nar-du-saljer-pa-internet/e-handelslagen/

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen position on trade and marketing on the internet; October 2015 (SW):

https://www.forbrugerombudsmanden.dk/media/46620/standpunkt-vedroerende-markedsfoering-og-ehandel-2010-rev-2015.pdf

 

 

Distance selling

 

Act 2005:59 on Distance and Off-Premises Contracts (Lag (2005:59) om distansavtal och avtal utanför affärslokaler). This law implements Directive 2002/65/EC concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services. Amendment 2014:14 in part implements the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EC by changing the name of the Act (Distance and Doorstep Sales Act) to its current title and replacing Chapter 2 (Distance contracts for goods and non-financial services) as well as repealing Chapters 4 (Doorstep Contracts) and 5 (Common Provisions).

https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Lagar/Svenskforfattningssamling/Distans--och-hemforsaljningsla_sfs-2005-59/

Translation of relevant sections in Chapter 3 here:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWActDistandOPContracts.pdf

The Swedish Consumer Agency provides E-commerce guidance here:

https://www.konsumentverket.se/for-foretag/olika-saljkanaler/regler-nar-du-saljer-pa-internet/

 

 

Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket)

 

A Government Agency which answers to the Ministry of Finance. Its Director-General is also the Consumer Ombudsman (Konsumentombudsmannen, KO). The Agency, along with others, is tasked with implementing the Government's consumer policy. It is responsible for reviewing marketing and advertising for whether it is misleading or unfair. Consumer law is from the Consumer Agency’s Statute Book Konsumentverkets författningssamling KOVFS. The KOVFS consists of regulations and general guidelines; the regulations are binding whilst the guidelines only guide. The Agency can take those to court who do not meet requirements, and can take measures against misleading advertising and other forms of marketing; unfair contract terms; incorrect price information; dangerous products and services etc.:

http://www.konsumentverket.se/

 

Children

 

The Swedish Consumer Agency’s Guidance on marketing aimed at children and young people. A document with the original Swedish together with an English translation is here:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWChConsAgGuidelinesChildren.pdf

The original Swedish document is here:

http://www.konsumentverket.se/globalassets/publikationer/produkter-och-tjanster/reklam-och-marknadsforing/vagledning-om-marknadsforing-riktad-till-barn-och-unga-konsumentverket.pdf

 

Social Media/ Infuencers

 

 

The Swedish Consumer Agency Guidelines on marketing in social media:

https://www.konsumentverket.se/globalassets/publikationer/produkter-och-tjanster/reklam-och-marknadsforing/vagledning-marknadsforing-sociala-medier-konsumentverket.pdf (SW)

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWConsAgencySocMediaGuidelines2020.pdf

 

 

 

Nordic Ombudsmen guidance 

 

Environmental claims

 

Guidance of the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen, of which the Swedish Consumer Agency is a member; use of ethical and environmental-related claims in marketing. In Swedish here:

http://www.konsumentverket.se/contentassets/dcac36a19d2a4f5c8c6b451ce8dfc4dd/nordisk-standpunkt-miljo-konsumentverket.pdf

And translated here:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWGenNordicOmbudsmenEnvironmental_.pdf

 

Covert marketing

 

From the introduction: ‘It is important that consumers are not exposed to hidden marketing. Therefore, this is an area that is strongly prioritised by the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen. Over the next few years, the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen will share experiences and discuss developments in this area at Consumer Ombudsmen meetings that take place every six months. This position, which expresses the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen's opinion of advertising identification rules, has been developed to inform companies about how to act in order not to contravene the ban on hidden advertising’. Translation from the Finnish website here:

https://www.kkv.fi/en/decisions-and-publications/publications/consumer-ombudsmans-guidelines/international/nordic-position-on-covert-marketing

Translation showing the original Swedish document together with an English translation:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWGenNordicHiddenMarketingB.pdf

 

Social media

 

The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen's position on marketing through social media. From the Introduction: ‘The position is technology neutral and applies regardless of how the social media is made available. When business people are marketing through social media, the general marketing rules should be followed. The following sections deal with the rules that traders should be especially aware of when marketing through social media.’in Swedish:

https://www.konsumentverket.se/globalassets/publikationer/produkter-och-tjanster/reklam-och-marknadsforing/vagledning-standpunkt-marknadsforing-sociala-medier-121205-konsumentverket.pdf

Translated here:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWGenNordicOmbudsmenSocialMedia.pdf

 

Environment

 

From the introduction: ‘In recent years, focus has been directed towards additional societal considerations and values, as well as those environmental impacts associated with production, sales and marketing. Environmental issues can take in child labour, working environment, the relationship between rich and poor countries, support for charity purposes etc. The Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen have therefore considered that there is a need for new guidance about environmental issues in marketing, which includes ethical claims or statements such as those used in the marketing of companies or products.’ Translation including the original Swedish:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWGenNordicOmbudsmenEnvironmental_.pdf

 

 

E-commerce

 

The position of the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen on trading and marketing on the Internet; October 2015. This document has not yet been translated:

https://www.forbrugerombudsmanden.dk/media/46620/standpunkt-vedroerende-markedsfoering-og-ehandel-2010-rev-2015.pdf (SW)

 

 

SELF- REGULATION

 

Industry guidance and codes: RO

 

The Self-Regulatory Organisation in Sweden is Reklamombudsmannen (RO). From RO: ‘The main task of RO is to review commercial advertising and make sure advertising standards are kept high by Self-Regulating the industry. RO also inform and educate the public, the industry and the authorities about marketing ethics. RO uses the guidance of the Advertising and Marketing Communications Code from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Code) when assessing advertising'. Specific copy advice is available; RO does not pre-clear advertising. Individuals, companies and other organisations may file a complaint against commercial advertising that might be in breach. RO and their Jury/ Opinion Board (RON) review the advertising against the Code. Only commercial advertising aimed at the Swedish market can be assessed and not older than six months. Decisions are published on the RO website (English translation facility), as well as in newsletters and press releases, many of which receive significant attention. The ICC Code in Swedish is here:

https://cms.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2019/07/icc-2019-marketing-code-swe.pdf

 

ICC

 

ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code 2018:
https://cms.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2018/09/icc-advertising-and-marketing-communications-code-int.pdf

 

General Principles

Chapter A.  Sales Promotion

Chapter B. Sponsorship

Chapter C. Direct Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications

Chapter D. Environmental Claims in Marketing Communications

 

Additional ICC guidance and frameworks

(non-exhaustive)

 

The ICC Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications 2021. 'The updated 2021 Environmental Framework provides added guidance on some established environmental claims and additional guidance on some emerging claims' and 'a summary of the principles of the ICC Code including those outlined in Chapter D on environmental claims and supplements them with additional commentary and guidance to aid practitioners in applying the principles to environmental advertising.' Appendix I carries an Environmental Claims Checklist 'that marketers may find useful in evaluating their environmental claims.' 
http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/iccenvironmentalframework_2021.pdf

In Swedish:

https://icc.se/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/ICC-Riktlinjer-Ansvarsfull-Marknadskommunikation-om-miljo-och-klimat_2022.pdf

ICC Resource Guide for Self-Regulation of Online Behavioural Advertising: It’s a ‘Resource Guide’, rather than rules per se, showing: explanation of global framework available for OBA self-regulation, checklist from existing OBA self-regulatory mechanisms on how to implement the global principles and links to further resources. The ICC's OBA rules are under C22 of their General Code; we have extracted the rules here

https://cdn.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2012/11/ICC-Resource-Guide-for-Self-Regulation-of-Online-Behavioural-Advertising-1.pdf

Mobile Supplement to the ICC Resource Guide for Self-Regulation of Interest-based Advertising

https://cdn.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2018/07/icc-mobile-supplement-to-iba-guidance.pdf

ICC Guide for Responsible Mobile Marketing Communications

https://cdn.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2018/08/icc-guide-for-responsible-mobile-marketing-communications.pdf

The ICC’s Guidance on Native Advertising

https://cdn.iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2015/05/ICC-Guidance-on-Native-Advertising.pdf

 

 

EASA

 

European Advertising Standards Alliance. ‘EASA has a network of forty-one organisations representing twenty-seven advertising standards bodies (aka Self-Regulatory Organisations) from Europe and 14 organisations representing the advertising ecosystem (the advertisers, agencies and the media). EASA's role is to set out high operational standards for advertising self-regulatory systems, as set out in the Best Practice Model and EASA's Charter.’

http://www.easa-alliance.org/

Membership

http://www.easa-alliance.org/members

 

Best Practice Recommendations

 

Digital Marketing Communications:

http://www.easa-alliance.org/sites/default/files/EASA%20Best%20Practice%20Recommendation%20on%20Digital%20Marketing%20Communications.pdf

Online Behavioural Advertising:

http://www.easa-alliance.org/sites/default/files/EASA%20Best%20Practice%20Recommendation%20on%20Online%20Behavioural%20Advertising_0.pdf

Influencer Marketing

https://www.easa-alliance.org/sites/default/files/EASA%20BEST%20PRACTICE%20RECOMMENDATION%20ON%20INFLUENCER%20MARKETING_2020_0.pdf

 

 

Other Codes and Guidance 

 

 

Swedish Advertisers’ Association

https://www.annons.se/swedish-association-for-marketing-and-advertising

This advertiser trade body is a member of the WFA (see below). It appears to have placed guidelines etc. behind a membership wall

 

Environmental claims: ISO

 

ISO 14021: 1999 Environmental labels and declarations. Self-declared environmental claims. Published in 1999 to provide guidelines for the use of self-declared claims. ISO 14021 covers environmental claims about products made under the sole responsibility of the businesses concerned, i.e. self-declared environmental claims.  It establishes general requirements for any environmental claims and seeks to ensure the relevance and sincerity of such claims. It also defines the requirements for the 12 most common self-declared environmental claims In addition to the twelve selected claims, the standard provides general requirements for all self-declared environmental claims (18 in total such as - a self-declared environmental claim shall be accurate and not misleading, be substantiated and verifiable, be relevant to that particular product etc.). A specific symbol selected in the standard is the Mobius Loop which applies to the product or packaging and is used with claims of recyclable and recycled content. The ISO Standard 14021 document can be purchased on the www.iso.org site:

http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=23146

 

SWEDMA

 

Swedish Direct Marketing Association (in Swedish): SWEDMA is the trade association for companies engaged in direct or interactive marketing in Sweden. Swedma also manages the Opt-out registers NIX-Adresserat and NIX-Telefon, in addition to the Ethics Board for Direct Marketing

https://www.swedma.se/ 

 

Direct postal mail

 

Addressed Direct Mail rules; updated August 2012:

http://media.swedma.se/etiska_regler_adr_rev201208.pdf (SW)

Translation of the above:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWAddressedDMCodeEN.pdf

Unaddressed Direct Mail rules (not translated):

http://media.swedma.se/etiska_regler_odr_rev201208.pdf (SW)

An agreement between the National Consumer Agency and Swedma establishes that the distribution of unaddressed direct commercial mail does not include households that have made it clear that they do not wish to receive advertising, by the sign on the door or otherwise; material must be clearly identifiable as advertising, as must its source.

 

 

Email

 

Consumer email rules; updated August 2013

http://media.swedma.se/etiska_regler_epost_b2c_2013.pdf (SW)

English translation:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWEDMAemailb2cEN.pdf

Marketing to businesses by email (B2B) rules; updated April 2013

 http://media.swedma.se/etiska_regler_epost_b2b_2013.pdf (SW)

English translation:

http://www.g-regs.com/downloads/SWEDMAEmailb2bEN.pdf

 

 

IAB Sweden

 

IAB Sweden is ‘the networking and knowledge platform for interactive advertising and digital marketing in Sweden’:

http://iabsverige.se/

Mina cookies website (administered by IAB Sweden):

http://www.minacookies.se/

 

IAB TCF Framework and GDPR from GALA/ Mondaq February 2022. News story here (EN)

 

WFA

 

This is the GDPR Guide for Marketers from the WFA (World Federation of Advertisers):

http://info.wfa.be/WFA-GDPR-guide-for-marketers.pdf

The WFA launched their Planet Pledge in April 2021

And Global Guidance on Environmental Claims April 2022

 

ESA

 

The European Sponsorship Association is at: 

www.sponsorship.org

 

 

 

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