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Action was taken against covert advertising in Arttu Wiskari’s musical work and video

In early 2017, the Consumer Ombudsman’s attention was drawn to a musical work and video by Arttu Wiskari. Called “Ystävän remppa” (“Doing a repair job for a friend”), the work was completed in marketing collaboration with Saint-Gobain Rakennustuotteet Oy/Gyproc. The lyrics make several references to Gyproc boards, and the video shows Gyproc products and the company name on several occasions.

The Consumer Ombudsman found that, as a whole, the video constituted an advertisement for Gyproc and the company’s building boards. However, the video did not mention the commercial collaboration or on whose behalf it was done.

Recognisability of marketing is a key principle of consumer protection. Consumers have the right to know when they are being influenced by commercial means and the identity of the party behind such efforts. The Consumer Ombudsman ordered Saint-Gobain Rakennustuotteet Oy to ensure in future that – when collaborating with artists – commercial collaboration and the party on whose behalf marketing is done are mentioned in the marketing in question. Furthermore, as required by the Consumer Ombudsman, a mention was added to the ”Ystävän remppa” music video that it had been produced in commercial collaboration with Saint-Gobain Rakennustuotteet Oy/Gyproc. The company committed to abiding by the Consumer Ombudsman’s requirements.