MPs want less advertising

Around half of Swedish members of parliament would like to see more restrictions on advertising in the media.

A survey by industry newspaper Dagens Media shows that every other Riksdag deputy would like to reduce the amount of advertising in the media, and 60 percent would like tighter rules on the content of ads.

The figures show a hardening of opinions since 2005, when Dagen Media last carried out the survey. Then, of 100 MPs surveyed, 44 said they would like a wanted to limit the number of adverts and 50 argued for tougher restrictions on content.

The differences between the political blocs are clear. On the left, 100 percent of Greens and 78 percent of Left Party representatives wanted to limit the amount of advertising. Only 6 percent of Moderates and 17 percent of Liberals took the same view.

The opponents of advertising argued that many ads were too pushy or vulgar, and that the public space was being over-sexualised.

Left Party MP Siv Holma argues that direct mail and television ads should be limited.

“We need a treatment works, like we have for all other effluence,” she said.

A majority of MPs said they thought that state agencies, and particularly state-owned gaming company Svenska Spel, ought to reduce the amount they spend on advertising.

But representatives of Sweden’s advertising industry accused the MPs of trying to score cheap political points.

“The figures are alarming, and indicate prejudice and deep ignorance. The results also shows how important it is that we continue to work on informing and effecting the views of politicians,” said Pia Grahn Brikell, managing director of the Advertising Association of Sweden.

“It’s good to have a debate about advertising, but it must be factual, not populist and prejudiced,” she wrote in a press release.