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Telia pledges to stop friend recruitment scheme

07. March 2005

Telia can no longer make use of children and young people below 18 to recruit new subscribers for Telia Mobile without their parents’ consent. This is the central message of Telia’s commitment to the Danish Consumer Ombudsman [ DCO] .

Telia can no longer make use of children and young people below 18 to recruit new subscribers for Telia Mobile without their parents’ consent. This is the central message of Telia’s commitment to the Danish Consumer Ombudsman [ DCO] .

The concept of the scheme is to deduct DKK 20 of the recruiter’s subscription fee for every new subscriber (s)he gets to take up Telia Xpress, a subscription service. Once you have recruited 6 new subscribers, you get your own subscription for free. Alongside other media forms, the scheme was being marketed via SMS, which means that the recipient would most likely be a child or young person below 18 whose parents had handed over a mobile telephone to him/her.

The DCO holds the opinion that such schemes violate the principles of good marketing practises because children and young people do the sales promotion.

"Regulating marketing targeted to children and young people is one my top priorities as this age group lacks the ability to critically assess commercial communication", the DCO Hagen Jørgensen says. He continues: "I am pleased that our constructive dialogue with Telia has opened the company’s eyes to the drawbacks of the scheme".

Pursuant to section 16 of the Danish Marketing Practises Act, the Danish Consumer Ombudsman has a duty to negotiate with business and trade in order to ensure their compliance with the above Act. If a trader fails to fulfil a promise, the DCO can order him to observe the promise. Negligent or intentional disregard of the order is punishable under section 22(3) of the above Act.

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