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Strategy and vision

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Negotiation, dialogue and enforcement are the cornerstones of the Consumer Ombudsman's strategy paper, adopted in 2007.

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Mission

The Consumer Ombudsman supervises compliance with the Marketing Practices Act and appurtenant orders with reference to particularly the Danish consumers. Negotiation and dialogue are his preferred means when seeking to induce business and trader to act in accordance with the principle of good marketing practice.

Other DCO activities include supervision of compliance with the Act on Payment Services, the Act on Legal Counselling, the Act on Tobacco Advertising and the E-commerce Act.

Pursuant to the supervision duty set out in the Marketing Practices Act, the DCO also administers consumer protection rules governed by other laws, inter alia civil law rules under the Sale of Goods Act, the Contracts Act, the Consumer Agreements Act and the Danish Interest Act.

Vision

Principles of impartiality, trustworthiness and efficiency underlie all DCO activities. The DCO strives to offer a professional service which inspires the respect and confidence of both consumers and business and trade. Activities are based on information, dialogue, cooperation and efficient enforcement of legislation. Thoroughness and quality are values integrated in the DCO’s daily work.

  • We want both consumers and businesses to have confidence in our work 
  • We are visible, influential and respected 
  • We strengthen the dialogue and cooperation with businesses and organisations 
  • We prevent potential problems in the market 
  • Efficient law enforcement is our hallmark 
  • Cross-border marketing activities are included in our supervisory tasks 
  • We organise our supervisory tasks and make optimal use of our resources compared to our objectives  

Summary

Trust and respect for the institution are fundamental prerequisites when enforcing and supervising compliance with the law. The best foundation for marketing law supervision is cooperation and negotiation with consumer and trade organisations. They should be given a fair say in matters relating to both supervision planning and interpretation of the rules – especially the principle of good marketing practice.

However, negotiation is not always enough. Court enforcements for instance will sometimes be necessary. Respect for the institution comes with efficient and consistent enforcement of violations. Consumer law enforcement is therefore one of the DCO’s main priorities. Enforcement activities are subject to customary principles of legality and proportionality.

Preventive action is a cornerstone in the DCO’s daily work. Better access to discuss contemplated marketing activities with the DCO before they are put to work is one initiative to that end. More information initiatives and campaigns will be carried out to aid traders who want to know the law better. Information activities are therefore part and parcel of preventive action.

Consumers should know that it does help to contact the DCO and that queries and complaints are taken seriously. Against this backdrop the DCO may wish to clarify and explain marketing law or other rules under consumer law to traders who, following the assessment of a query or complaint, seem to have contravened the law. Complaints from consumers are an important source of information which provides the basis for targeted action. In other words: the consumers help the DCO decide in which areas campaigns can make a difference for the largest possible group of consumers.

It is important that consumers feel safe when engaging in cross-border transactions, especially when shopping online. In his international cooperation activities the DCO prioritises efforts that will ensure consumers the greatest possible level of protection in relation to Internet trade and against dubious cross-border marketing.

Objective 1

The DCO will strive to ensure the greatest possible level of compliance with marketing and consumer law by means of cooperation and dialogue with traders and consumer and trade organisations.

Objective 2

The DCO will put more emphasis on consumer and marketing law enforcement. 

Objective 3

The DCO will provide better access for traders to get an advance assessment of contemplated marketing initiatives and campaigns.

Objective 4

The DCO will engage actively in international law enforcement cooperation so as to better protect consumers against unethical and unlawful marketing activities emanating from other countries.

Objective 5

The DCO will strive to prevent breaches and violations by means of targeted information initiatives and public information about his work in general.