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IRIS 2012-1:1/35


Consumer Ombudsman Renews Call for Ban on Advertising in Cinema Screenings to Children

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Nils Klevjer Aas

Norwegian Film Institute

Following a case of advertising give-aways distributed to cinema audiences at the national release of a children’s film, the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman has, in interviews with the media, renewed her call for a ban on advertising in connection with film screenings to young audiences.

At the national release (99 screens on 28 August 2011) of Coming Home (Til siste hinder), a girls-and-horses epic classified as “suitable for all ages” by the Norwegian Media Authority, the publishers of a magazine/member’s club targeting “horse-loving girls” had bags of advertising matter placed in the cinema seats. The bags contained a sample copy of the magazine, a book with pictures of horses, a small wristwatch, a horse poster and an invitation to take part in a lottery for a (live) horse.

“Advertising delivered directly to your cinema seat, and not limited to the screen, becomes rather invasive … One should be particularly cautious of competitions in advertising directed at small children”, commented Consumer Ombudsman Gry Nergård to national broadcaster NRK. “[And] a horse is hardly suitable as the prize in a raffle”, she added, promising to use her powers under the Marketing Control Act to intervene with the advertising agency that organised the distribution of the advertising items.

In connection with a 2005 review of the Cinema and Video Act, the Consumer Ombudsman argued for a full ban of advertising in connection with cinema screenings to children under the age of seven or to families with young children. The proposal was not taken up when the Act was amended in 2010.

Forbrukerombudet vil forby barnereklame på kino NO
  News item from NRK      
Forslag til endring i film- og videogramloven, 10.08.2005 NO
  Consumer Ombudsman’s contribution to 2005 public consultation on amendments to Cinema and Video Act