You have probably heard the news about Norway imposing a new law stating that influencers need to mark their pictures when they have edited the picture. Norway is the first country in the world with a law like this. For a while, Norway have been strict when it comes to social media and influencer marketing. It is a hot topic in the country and something that is constantly debated. There are several reasons for imposing this new law and constantly debating the issue of social media marketing.
Norway have long been using social media as a place for marketing and the industry is booming. There are big influencer management agencies that manage the biggest celebs and influencers. So restrictions and laws on social media is nothing new in Norway. The new law works like this, the influencers have to mark their sponsored posts if they have edited the pictures and of course mark the picture as sponsored/ad/gift. The intention of the law is to make everyone see that the picture might not reflect the reality. The law includes editing the body (shape, skin colour etc) and use of filter.
Norway already have a very strict influencer marketing law, which include marking posts, stories, videos and other content. It also include laws restrictions on marketing of injections, operations and other cosmetic procedures on social media.But why would Norway impose these strict, modern and new laws? As social media is something youth in Norway constantly is dealing with, these laws is made to protect the mental health of this vulnerable group. Mental health is growing in importance in Norway and schools, media and families is opening up about the topic. However, social media have been contributing to a worst mental health among youngsters, teens and young adults in the country. The constant pressure of looking perfect, showing off, having the new things and becoming an influencers have taken a toll on the publics mental health. The laws will therefore work as a tool to make social media channels more real. The laws ultimate goal is that there will be less body shaming and pressure on having the "perfect" body.
There have been a boom in plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures in Norway. There is several cases where girls have arrived to the cosmetics clinic asking them to change the face to look like the filter from Instagram or Snapchat. Which indicate how this new law can be important for the newer generations self-love.
To deal with the new law, the government in Norway have set up a new professional committee that will handle complaints that consumers send in regarding influencer posts, doing investigations and handling enquiries from the marketing industry as well as companies wanting to use influencers in their marketing campaign. The committee consist of people from different fields like consumer insights, influencers and psychologists.
The post above is an example of an ad being fined by the committee. This was because it is promoting a supplement and being too body-focused. Even though the influencer is wearing a lot of clothes, her overall profile is to body-focused. She is representing the supplement and the brand, therefore the committee saw this as a overall breach of the law.
What do you think about the new law? Or in general the strict influencer marketing laws in Norway? Is it too much? Too little? Going in the right direction? Let us know in the comments!