• Sweden's news in English
 

Sweden raps Stardoll for targeting young girls

Published: 06 Dec 2012 17:31 GMT+01:00

The operators of the popular site face a 1 million kronor ($150,000) fine if they fail to stop the practices, the court ruled.

After conducting research into the Stardoll virtual world, the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) took the company, which has 100 million users worldwide with about 250,000 members in Sweden, to the Swedish Market Court (Marknadsdomstolen).

In a verdict handed down on Thursday, the court upheld much of the Consumer Agency's critique.

Stardoll has responded that the verdict could spell the end for its services on the Swedish market.

"This ruling has wide-reaching implications not only for us but for the entire gaming industry," Stardoll CEO Mattias Miksche told the TT news agency.

"They are telling us we cannot send direct messages to the players' inboxes, which they say is the equivalent of sending offers and deals to people's homes."

In its complaint against Stardoll, Sweden's Consumer Ombudsman (Konsumentsombudsmannen, KO) said its marketing was "aggressive".

To prove its point, the Consumer Agency signed up to the site with its own avatar, called Liza, and kept a log of how she received marketing offers.

""Liza" had to fill in a parent's email address to join the community, because she was underage, but the agency said that in communicating with the parent, Stardoll made no reference to future marketing.

"Only if the parent feels there is reason to distrust the letter sent to them and they read the user agreement will they see that Stardoll will send marketing to the child and that the child can buy things on the site," the complaint read.

After "Liza" indicated what she would like her avatar to look like, the site played up a video where she was told she could upgrade to "superstar" for 30 kronor.

The video implies, according to the Agency's interpretation, that a girl who does not sign up would remain the dour, plain girl portrayed at the beginning of the clip.

It is possible to opt out and keep playing as a normal player, the agency noted, but from thereon after, Liza's life in the virtual community was plagued by booby trap after booby trap.

For example, the agency pointed out, Stardoll enticed "Liza" with gifts but when she went to open them, she was told to upgrade her membership.

When "Liza" finally fired off an SMS to get more credit on the site, she received the following response: "Be a Superstar for even longer. Buy additional weeks now!”"

The verdict left the Stardoll CEO befuddled.

"It says it's ok to sell thing but still we cannot have a button on our site that says 'buy' or 'upgrade'," Miksche told TT.

"I don't really know what we'll do now."

TT/The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:47 December 7, 2012 by .METALLICA
I hope stardoll again be the best site before,how it was in mid-2009, the stardoll which were concerned with your comsumidores they've adults or children.

This change has to be in the world not only in Sweden, stardoll is a game that spans multiple locations on the planet. Hopefully worry more about who plays and cause the site to be better every day, all people need this change to play comfortable for our leisure and enforce the title Fame, Fashion and Friends. =]
Today's headlines
US rap mogul Jay Z defends Tidal venture
Jay Z's got 99 problems but Tidal ain't one. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

US rap mogul Jay Z defends Tidal venture

Rapper Jay Z has defended his Tidal streaming service as viable and a boon to artists after a much-criticized start to the revamped company has given its main Swedish rivals at Spotify little cause for concern. READ  

Nepal earthquake
Swedes join earthquake rescue efforts in Nepal
Residents rescue items from the debris of a house damaged in Saturday's earthquake in Nepal. Photo: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Swedes join earthquake rescue efforts in Nepal

An expert team from Sweden is set to travel to Nepal on Monday to help with a search and rescue operation following a devastating earthquake which is believed to have claimed 3,200 lives so far. READ  

Rush-hour chaos for Swedish rail commuters
It's not the first time train delays cause headaches for Swedish commuters. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Rush-hour chaos for Swedish rail commuters

A faulty railway switch in Stockholm was expected to cause rush-hour headaches for travellers across Sweden on Monday morning after several trains were cancelled and others diverted. READ  

Sweden enjoys tourism boom
Photo: Måns Fornander/imagebank.sweden.se

Sweden enjoys tourism boom

Tourism in Sweden is increasing rapidly with foreign tourists expected to spend a total of 115 billion kronor (13.3 billion) this year, according to an industry forecast. READ  

Swedish hostages freed in Syria
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Swedish hostages freed in Syria

Two Swedish men held hostage in Syria have been released with the help of Jordanian and Palestinian authorities, Sweden's foreign ministry said Saturday. READ  

Swedes risk double tax over pension change
The 'orange envelope' containing annual pension statements. Photo: TT

Swedes risk double tax over pension change

Many Swedes risk paying double tax on their savings following changes to private pensions rules, experts warn. READ  

Christian Democrats elect first female leader
Photo: TT

Christian Democrats elect first female leader

Sweden’s Christian Democrats on Saturday unanimously elected Ebba Busch Thor as the party’s leader, replacing Göran Hägglund. At 28, she’s the youngest person to ever lead a Swedish party in parliament. READ  

Municipal interpreters spoke wrong language
Most migrants from Romania speak Romanian, not Romany. Photo: TT

Municipal interpreters spoke wrong language

The municipality of Helsingborg hired interpreters to communicate with migrants from Romania. Problem was, the interpreters spoke a language the Romanians didn’t know at all. READ  

Swede wins world boxing title
Badou, left, connects with Anthony Dirrell during the fight in Chicago. Photo: AFP

Swede wins world boxing title

Sweden's Badou Jack claimed the World Boxing Council's super middleweight title as he outpointed previously unbeaten Anthony Dirrell in Chicago on Friday night. READ  

Swedish police officers praised by New Yorkers
The Swedish police heroes meet with NYPD heads. Photo: New York Police Department/TT

Swedish police officers praised by New Yorkers

A video has emerged of Swedish off-duty police officers breaking up a violent fight on the New York subway. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
What's on in Sweden: April 23rd - 30th
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
How the Stockholm School of Economics changes expat lives
Features
My bizarre Swedish habits that foreigners just don't understand
National
Brits in Sweden face NHS black hole
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Blog updates

24 April

Editor’s blog, April 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Spring has well and truly arrived, as evidenced by the start of strawberry season. The..." READ »

 

15 April

Gång, timme, tid & dags (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! In this article I will talk about “gång”, “timmar”, “dags” and “tid”, because they all translate..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
The Swedish regions where you're least likely to stay jobless
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd
Sport
Sweden's Eriksson joins row over foreign England player quotas
National
MEP says ignoring migrant crisis like 'Sweden's Holocaust appeasement'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Swedish mining town that's being moved
National
How much would you pay for first Swedish strawberries of 2015?
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Photo: TT
National
Get set for a sunny week in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
National
Refugees in Sweden fear for families lost at sea
National
Syria claims ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders are Scandinavian
Gallery
People-watching: April 18th
National
Swedish researchers pore over link between coffee and cancer
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: April 15th
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hovås, Gothenburg
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
National
Would you live in a steel box?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Gallery
People-watching: April 8th
National
Swedish bids for Billboard fame
National
Swedish monkeys denied Saudi visas
National
Sunny spring weather predicted
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
National
Half of Swedes want begging ban
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Why are expats less likely to settle down with Swedes?
Sport
What does Sweden think of Zlatan's recent outburst?
Society
Get to grips with Sweden's most bizarre Easter traditions
Gallery
People-watching: April 1st
National
The Local's best April Fools' gags
National
US spy agency to feature in new 'Stieg Larsson' book sequel
National
Beaver bite at Swedish bus stop
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,310
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se