Advertising and marketing


What rules govern digital advertising and marketing in your jurisdiction?

Digital marketing and advertising (eg, telemarketing and email advertising) is governed by the Marketing Control Act of 9 January 2009 and the Electronic Commerce Act of 23 May 2003.

The processing of personal data for the purpose of digital marketing and advertising is governed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Are there any specific regulations governing the use of targeted advertising?

The Marketing Control Act contains applicable regulations governing the use of targeted advertising.

Electronic methods of communication

Main rule: opt in – the Marketing Control Act requires that targeted advertising and marketing by electronic methods of communication (ie, email, fax and automated calling systems) to natural persons (ie, in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) contexts) requires prior consent.

Targeted marketing by email does not require prior consent if:

  • there is an existing customer relationship;
  • the recipient's contact details were originally collected in the context of a sale; and
  • the marketing relates to similar products or services for which the recipient's details were originally obtained. However, consumers may still opt out at any time.

Communication by use of telephone

B2C – consumers may opt out of targeted advertising or marketing by phone, either directly with the business in question or by reservation in the Central Marketing Exclusion Register. Phone marketing of consumers listed in the register is prohibited.

B2B – telephone marketing towards natural persons in businesses is permissible, unless the person has opted out of such marketing with the business in question.

Further, the Electronic Commerce Act sets out information requirements and other obligations that apply for direct marketing, including the following:

  • Targeted advertising by email must clearly identify itself as marketing and the benefactor of the marketing must be identified.
  • Advertising offerings (ie, discounts, prizes and gifts) must be identifiable, and the conditions for receipt of such offerings must be readily available. Promotional competitions or games must be identifiable. Information concerning conditions for participation in such competitions or games must be readily available.
  • A service provider located in Norway directing unsolicited marketing representations by email to recipients in other EEA states is required to consult and respect the registers of natural persons not wishing to receive such email advertising.

The Personal Data Act of 15 June 2018 (which implements the GDPR) regulates the processing of personal data in connection with targeted advertising.


Are there any restrictions or limitations on goods and services that can be advertised, marketed and sold online?

There are restrictions on marketing certain goods and services in Norway, including:

  • alcohol, pursuant to the Alcohol Act of 2 June 1989;
  • tobacco, pursuant to the Tobacco Act of 9 March 1973;
  • gambling, pursuant to the Lottery Act of 24 February 1999; and
  • medicine, pursuant to the Act Relating to Medicines of 4 December 1992.

Further, the Marketing Control Act sets out the general restrictions on marketing practices for all products and services.

Spam messages

What rules and restrictions govern the sending of spam messages?

Spam messages are subject to restrictions under the following legislation:

  • the Marketing Control Act;
  • the Electronic Commerce Act;
  • the Electronic Communications Act of 4 July 2003; and
  • the GDPR (the Personal Data Act).

Spam will typically fall within the scope of the general marketing restrictions under Section 15 of the Marketing Control Act, which sets out restrictions to direct marketing communications at natural persons using electronic methods of communication which permit individual communication. Sections 2-3 of the Electronic Communications Act sets out requirements for internet service providers to avoid harmful interference (eg, spam) on the communication network.

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