Swedish government deems advertising code of conduct insufficient

The Swedish government has stated that the advertising code of conduct released last week by two trade associations is “insufficient” to reach moderate marketing standards.

The flag of Sweden

The debate over clarity in advertising standards continues in Sweden. © Pixabay.

Swedish minister of civil affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi, spoke with Studio Ett, a Swedish media firm, and voiced his opinion that the code is not up to standard to protect Swedes from excessive advertising.

Shekarabi also reiterated his threat that should the industry not better self-regulate, then government would be forced to legislate further.

Shekarabi was referring to the code of conduct released last week by the Swedish Gambling Association (SPER) and the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS).

The guidelines were based on a nine-point code of conduct that operators should follow. The guidelines could be amended at any point, while the SPER and BOS can adjudicate in the case of violations. Violations can also be directed to the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman, the Swedish Consumer Agency and the Swedish Gambling Authority.

Speaking to Studio Ett, Shekarabi said:

There is a need for regulation to be able to protect consumers and this message today is not enough… We have come a step closer to stricter legislation.Ardalan Shekarabi, Swedish minister of civil affairs.

Statements from both SPER and BOS refuted Shekarabi’s view, with Jenny Nilzon, CEO of SPER, arguing that the code “has not even been able to prove itself”.

Both trade associations had already hit back at the government’s lack of clarity over the issue of advertising. The current guidelines are open to interpretation, with advertising limits set “in moderation”. Both trade associations argued that they have tried to give clarity to what constitutes moderation, something the government hasn’t done.

30,000 Swedes have registered with self-exclusion scheme

Sweden’s national regulator, Spelinspektionen, reported this week that 30,000 Swedes have signed up to Spelpaus.se, the national self-exclusion register.

Operators are obliged to integrate the register within their platforms as part of the country’s licensing agreement. The scheme was rolled out on 1 January 2019 and allows customers to exclude themselves from all gambling sites and to opt-out of marketing communications.

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