“The ad is directed to parents, it tries to make them feel bad,” said Sigurd Sandvin, head of information at Telenor Mobil to the paper VG.
However, Bjørn Erik Thon, the Consumer Ombudsman representative, claims the ad is directed just as much towards children.
“In addition to making parents feel bad, Telenor tires to take advantage of children’s social insecurity,” Thon said to the paper. “Cell phones are often about belonging. There is something in the picture and the girl’s expression that indicates this.”
Thon stressed that cartoons as advertising mediums automatically have a young audience, and as a result it does not really matter whether or not the ad is directed towards adults. The Consumer Ombudsman claims that the ad is unlawful and will send a letter to Telenor Mobil.
Trond Waage, Children’s Ombudsman, is also critical to the ad. He strongly warns cell phone companies from using a medium like Donald Duck to recruit children as cell phone users.
Svein Erik Søland, editor-in-chief at Egmont Serieforlaget, the company printing the cartoon, said he promises that the ad will be changed if it is going to be printed again.