Frequently asked questions about Reklamombudsmannen (RO).

Self-regulation is when the Industry is regulating itself. RO is a self-regulatory organisation making it possible for consumers, companies and organisations to complain about advertising that might be in breach of the Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (Consolidated ICC Code).


Through self-regulation, ethics in advertising is raised, aiming to increase trust in advertising among consumers. Another benefit with self-regulation is it works faster than legislation and adapts easier to a constantly changing market.


However, self-regulation cannot replace legislation, it is only a supplement. In some areas, self-regulation is more appropriate, and other areas require legislation.

Yes, there are similar self-regulatory organisations in the EU-countries and other parts of the world. These organisations are coordinated within the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and the International Council for Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS) with headquarters in Brussels. More information about EASA and ICAS.

RO receives between approximatley 500 and 700 complaints. There may be several complaints in one case.

Approximately between 230 and 260 decisions are made each year.

The advertisers are expected to follow the decisions. The decisions are published on reklamombudsmannen.org and in some cases in newsletters and press releases. Many decisions receive a lot of media attention. Since RO is not an government agency or court of law, there are no financial or legal sanctions.

Since RO is not an government agency or court of law, there are no financial or legal sanctions aginst the advertisning agency, but the name of the agency is specified in the decision which is published on the website.

RO has no sanctions and can not demand that the advertiser ceases the advertising if upheld. However, in most cases the advertiser changes or ceases to use the upheld advertisment, and most advertisers want to avoid negative media attention. In several cases the advertiser chooses to cease using the advertisment because of the complaint, even before the advertisment has been reviewed. 

No, RO cannot impose any economic sanctions.

The name of the complainant will be disclosed to the advertiser but no other contact information, unless the complainant is a company or an organisation. A complaint can never be upheld unless the advertiser has been given the opportunity to respond. Both the complaint and the advertiser's response are quoted in the decision.

Most cases are handled within three months. It may take longer depending on the complexity of the case.