Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 371–391 | Cite as

Regulation of sex discrimination in advertising: An empirical inquiry into the Norwegian case

  • Sidsel G. Sverdrup
  • Eivind Stø


Norway is one of the few countries in the world which expressly prohibits sex discrimination in advertising. In this article, particular attention is paid to the experiences of the Norwegian Consumer Ombud, and to how advertisements, which have given rise to complaints of sex discrimination, are assessed by both the Ombud itself and the Norwegian population. Article 1.2 of the Norwegian Marketing Control Act, which regulates sex-discriminatory advertising, appears to have had some success. Certain kinds of portrayals of women have disappeared from Norwegian advertisements. There seems, however, to be a disagreement between the Ombud and the general population when it comes to the assessment of whether certain advertisements have a sex-discriminatory content. The Ombud takes a more radical stance than the population at large.


General Population Economic Policy Empirical Inquiry Norwegian Population Market Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Die Regulierung von Geschlechtsdiskriminierung in der Werbung: eine empirische Untersuchung norwegischer Erfahrungen


Norwegen ist eines der wenigen Länder, in denen Geschlechtsdiskriminierungen in der Werbung ausdrücklich verboten ist. Der Beitrag schildert die Erfahrungen der norwegischen Ombudsperson und prüft, wie Werbeanzeigen, denen Geschlechtsdiskriminierung vorgeworfen wird, einerseits von der Ombudsperson selbst und andererseits von der norwegischen Bevölkerung beurteilt werden.

Artikel 1.2 des norwegischen Gesetzes zur Marktkontrolle regelt geschlechtsdiskriminierende Werbung und hat damit offenbar einigen Erfolg gehabt. Bestimmte Arten der Darstellung von Frauen sind aus der norwegischen Werbung verschwunden. Offenbar gibt es jedoch Abweichungen zwischen der Ombudsperson und der generellen Bevölkerung hinsichtlich der Frage, ob ein bestimmter Werbeinhalt geschlechtsdiskriminierenden Charakter hat oder nicht. Die Ombudsperson urteilt offenbar nach strengeren Kriterien als die Bevolkerung im allgemeinen.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boe, E. (1980). Nye sider ved markedsføringslovens §1 — kjønnsdiskriminerende reklame (New aspects in §1 of the Marketing Control Act — Sex-discriminatory advertising).Nordiskt Immateriellt Rättsskydd, 49, 306–324.Google Scholar
  2. Casey, M. (1988).Images of women in advertising. Dublin: University College, Social and Organisational Psychology Research Unit.Google Scholar
  3. Consumer Ombudsman (1986).Annual Report for 1986 of the Consumer Ombudsman and the Market Council. Oslo: Forbrukerombudet.Google Scholar
  4. Cosgrove, J. R. (1991). Stereotype images from advertising: A reaction to female role portrayals. In: J.A. Costa (Ed.),Gender and consumer behavior, Conference proceedings, pp. 53–64. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business, Department of Marketing.Google Scholar
  5. Courtney, A. E., & Whipple, T. W. (1983).Sex stereotyping in advertising. Toronto: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  6. Eriksson, B., & Andrén, G. (1987).Ben-Get-Elsa och Doktor Berg. En skrift om könsroller i svensk populärpressreklam 1935 till 1984 (A study of sex roles in Swedish magazine advertising, 1935 to 1984). Stockholm: The National Board for Consumer Policies.Google Scholar
  7. Flick, M. (1980).Markedsføring av ulikhet (Marketing of inequality). Bergen: University of Bergen, Center for Media Research. Working paper.Google Scholar
  8. Gilly, M. C. (1988). Sex roles in advertising: A comparison of television advertisements in Australia, Mexico, and the United States.Journal of Marketing, 52(2), 75–85.Google Scholar
  9. Glefjell, S. (1990).Success according to intentions? A methodology for evaluation of the effects of the Marketing Control Act. Paper presented at the Vilhelm Aubert Memorial Symposium, Institutt for Samfunnsforskning, Oslo, August 23–26.Google Scholar
  10. Glefjell, S., Stø, E., & Gjøen, H. (1989).Markedsføring i fokus (Focus on advertising). Oslo: National Institute for Consumer Research. Report No. 106.Google Scholar
  11. Holmqvist, T. (1989).Carmen och Romeo (Carmen and Romeo). Stockholm: National Board for Consumer Policies. Report 1988/89:7.Google Scholar
  12. Knill, B. J., Pesch, M., Pursey, G., Gilpin, P., & Perloff, R. (1981). Still typecast after all these years? Sex-role portrayals in television advertising.International Journal of Women Studies, 4, 497–586.Google Scholar
  13. Kolbe, R. H., & Langefeld, C. D. (1991). Female roles in television advertising: Viewers' use of gender role cues in appraising stereotypic and non-stereotypic role portrayals. In: J. A. Costa (Ed.),Gender and consumer behavior. Conference proceedings, pp. 65–72. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business, Department of Marketing.Google Scholar
  14. Lammers, H. B., & Wilkinson, M. L. (1980). Attitudes towards women and satisfaction with sex roles in advertising.Psychological Reports, 46, 690.Google Scholar
  15. Lundstrom, W. J., & Sciglimpaglia, D. (1977). Sex role portrayals in advertising.Journal of Marketing, 41(3), 72–80.Google Scholar
  16. Lysonski, S. (1983). Female and male portrayals in magazine advertisements: A re-examination.Akron Business Review, 14 (Summer), 45–50.Google Scholar
  17. Michell, P., & Taylor, W. (1990). Polarising trends in female role portrayals in UK advertising.European Journal of Marketing, 24 (5), 41–49.Google Scholar
  18. Ogilvy, D. (1987).Confessions of an advertising man. London: Pan Books.Google Scholar
  19. Roberts, M. L., & Koggan, P. B. (1980). How should women be portrayed in advertisements? A call for research.Advances in Consumer Research, 6, 66–73.Google Scholar
  20. Sepstrup, P. (1982).Om reklame (About advertising). Copenhagen: Hans Reitzel.Google Scholar
  21. Stø, E., & Glefjell, S. (1990).Effects of advertising regulation: A case study of the Norwegian Consumer Ombud. Oslo: National Institute for Consumer Research. Working paper.Google Scholar
  22. Wilson, R. D., & Moore, N. K. (1980). The role of sexuality-oriented stimuli in advertising: Theory and literature review.Advances in Consumer Research, 6, 55–62.Google Scholar
  23. Wyndham, D. (1983). Australian women: As advertised versus the real thing.Australian Journal of Social Issues, 18(3), 182–190.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidsel G. Sverdrup
  • Eivind Stø

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations