Many legislators in Norway have been critical of industry beauty standards because they can be potentially harmful to many viewers for the unrealistic aesthetic they have been accused of promoting. To reduce the pressure to meet these standards, Norway legislators have passed a new law, called the Marketing Act, that requires influencers and advertisers to label every retouched photo posted to social media.
According to a report from Vice, the law — named the Marketing Act — passed with an overwhelming 72-15 vote on June 2. Once passed, it will be up to the King of Norway as far as when it actually goes into effect.
The Marketing Act explained
Under the Marketing Act, Norway influencers and advertisers must label photos where a subject’s body shape, size or skin has either been retouched and manipulated in post-production or through a lens filter. This applies to all retouched photos posted to social media (including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter). At this time, it’s unclear if adjustments to the image’s lighting or saturation also need a label.
All labels need to come from the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs.
What happens if you violate the law?
Norway has some pretty strict punishments for violating the Marketing Act if violated. Violations could lead to fines and even imprisonment in some cases. However, this is only in the most extreme situations. Most circumstances will only impose fines on violators.
The debate rages on
Many Norway officials believe this will reduce “body pressure” and undermine unattainable beauty standards. However, some have argued the legislation will have the opposite effect. Those against the new law say it will encourage influencers to get cosmetic surgery in order meet beauty standards now. Additionally, others have argued the law will be hard to regulate. Given that it’s currently unclear what falls under photo manipulation and what doesn’t, it may indeed be tough for Norway to enforce the Marketing Act.
It’ll be interesting to see how Norway plans to implement the Marketing Act. We’ll have to wait and see how Norway goes about this new law and how the creator community receives it. Also, it’s not clear how Norway will handle images from influencers from other countries where the Marketing Act doesn’t apply. Norwegians will still be exposed to retouched photos, so we’re skeptical of how effective the Marketing Act will be. We’ll just have to wait and see how Norway enforces the law – if they can.