Danish watchdog rejects criticism of new marketing rules

As of July 1, gambling and banking-related logos may not appear together on any surface.
As of July 1, gambling and banking-related logos may not appear together on any surface.

The Danish Football Union had warned the new rules would impact existing sponsorship deals.

Denmark.- The consumer watchdog Forbrugerombudsmanden is sticking by new rules that prohibit the logos of gambling brands from being displayed alongside those of banks.

The new law aims to stop gambling products from being promoted alongside financial products such as loans and credit cards, the idea being to avoid any suggestion that credit products be used as short-term funding for gambling.

But football clubs have raised concerns that the rules, which came into force on July 1, make some existing sponsorship agreements unsustainable. 

The Danish Football Union (DBU) warned the rules could harm relationships with sponsors for those clubs that receive sponsorship from both financial services companies and gambling operators since the logos will no longer be able to appear together on team clothing nor on interview backdrops.

The DBU itself will be impacted since both the men’s and women’s national teams are sponsored by the bank Arbejdernes Landsbank and Danske Spil betting brand Oddset.

Oddset also sponsors the clubs Aalborg BK and Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF), which are both also sponsored by banks.

Forbrugerombudsmanden rejected the DBU’s criticism and confirmed that the appearance of banking and gambling logos together will be treated as a breach of the law.

The ombudsman said that it would even be classed as a breach of the law if logos appear on different surfaces but were seen together, for example if a player with one logo on his shirt stands in front of an interview backdrop that features the other logo.

It said: “Forbrugerombudsmanden notes it is expressly stated in the draft legislation that the marketing of consumer loan companies’ names, logos or other characteristics is covered by the ban, regardless of where the marketing takes place.”

DBU Director, Jakob Jensen, said in response: “We are surprised that the legislation is formulated so broadly that it affects the close cooperation we have, both for the Danish national football teams and for the clubs.

“At the same time, we note that several political commentators this summer have stated that this is not the intention of the legislation.

“DBU has had Arbejdernes Landsbank Bank and Oddset/Danske Spil as partners for both the men’s national team and the women’s national team for several years.

“That is why it concerns us that this should suddenly have such a detrimental effect as the ombudsman’s response suggests.”

Denmark is one of the countries signalled by EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer in an interview with Focus Gaming News as becoming less friendly to gaming.

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