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Advertising Ombudsman

internet advertisingMy name is Jenni Hagman and I will be a guest bloggers today on Nigels blog! :) I am from Sweden so I thought that I could share some marketing practices from my country. Today’s post will be on the subject of ethical marketing, more specified: an ethical advertising ombudsman and pose a challenge for the readers on this topic!

An ombudsman is a “Government official appointed to investigate citizen’s complaint against government officials, large public and private corporations, and/or print media” ( The word ombudsman originally comes from Swedish and is actually one of the FEW words that have migrated from Swedish into English!

Sweden has an independent institution, the advertising ombudsman who is working for ethical marketing communications. They do this by receiving complaints from the public on advertisement, reviewing them according to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) code on ethical advertising and informing on marketing ethics ( I think they are very strict when it comes to the topic of whether the advertisement is discriminatory against sexes or not. So I thought I would give you a challenge with 4 examples of print advertisements that were campaigned in Sweden and you can guess whether or not they were convicted by the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman! All of the advertisements were reported by the public on the basis that they are discriminating towards sexes, but how many of them were actually convicted?? What do you think?

The first advertisement is for the company Boxer which sells broadband, telephone and TV services. The text in the advertisement says: Boxer package from 79 kroners. The ad shows their animated man Boxer in boxers. He is a front-figure for the company showed in most of their ads and commercials.

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The second ad is for a company called Aj, which sells products for offices, warehouses and industries. This ad is for selling a tool bench and shows a famous woman (at least in Sweden) standing by the bench with a dirty shirt and unbuttoned pants.

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The third ad is for the company Stadium, which sells sport products, clothes, shoes etcetera. This ad is for their bikini series and shoes a woman in a bikini standing with a surfboard.

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The last ad is for a company called NivoFlex which sells stage platforms. Their ad features three staging platforms and a woman posing. The text states: “choose NivoFlex for guaranteed safety. Platforms for the professional” and “NivoFlexs platforms. World champions when it comes to quality. Founded 1877.”

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So can you tell who were convicted?? I will give you the results in my next blog post!

X Jenni

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