What is self-regulation?

Self-regulation is when an 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 that it works faster than legislation and adapts easier to a constantly changing market.

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


Are there similar organisations in other countries?

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), which has its headquarters in Brussels. On the EASA website you will find all the member organisations.


How many complaints does RO receive per year?

Between 500 and 1000 complaints. There may be several complaints in one case.


How many conclusions are made per year? 

Approximately between 230 and 260 conclusions.


What are the consequenses for the advertiser if a complaint is upheld?

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


What are the concequences for the advertising agency if a complaint is upheld?

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 conclusion which is published on the website.


Does the advertiser change the advertising if a complaint is upheld?

In most cases the advertiser changes or ceases to use the upheld advertising, and most advertisers want to avoid the negative media attention. In several cases the advertiser chooses to cease using the advertising because of the complaint, even before the advertising has been reviewed. 


Does the complainant get any economic compensation if a complaint is upheld?

No, RO cannot impose any economic sanctions.


Can a complainant be anonymous?

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. The complaint and the advertisers responses are quoted in the conclusion.


How long is the process?

Most cases are processed within three months. It may take longer depending on the review.

Do you have other questions? Please contact [email protected]