Consumer watchdog to sue Metro

The Swedish state consumer ombudsman, KO, said Thursday it was suing Swedish group Metro International, publisher of free newspapers around the world, for having presented advertising in the guise of news.

The agency “is suing Metro in the Swedish Market Court for on two occasions having created front pages that look like news despite the fact that they were in fact advertising,” it said in a statement.

Last November, Metro’s Swedish front page was covered with what looked like a news article about a new computer game under the headline: “The world will never be the same”, according to KO.

On another occasion, an ad for an ice cream brand was made to look like the day’s top news story.

“Advertising should be presented so that it is clear that it is advertising. I do not believe the Metro ads fulfilled the legal requirements on this issue,” KO director general Karin Lindell said in the statement.

“Media that sell this kind of advertising spots risk losing the confidence of their readers. It is important in the press, radio and television that there are clear boundaries between editorial and commercial content,” she added.