Labour criticized for SMS to voters

Labour SMSElection SMS: This message was received by about 500,000 Norwegians. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Labour criticized for SMS to voters

The Labour Party Sunday sent a text message to 500,000 voters with a call to vote for the party. Many are critical


– This is a one-off stunt that we do in areas where we have normally had plenty support. To those who think this has been burdensome, I’m sorry, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre told the press after voting at Svendstuen School in Oslo on Sunday.

This is the first time the Labor Party sends such a group SMS during an election campaign. On Facebook and elsewhere it is obvious that the stunt is less than appreciated by many.

Half a million

The text message was sent from Ap centrally and reached around 500,000 voters. Recipients were chosen based on different criteria, primarily residential address and age.

– We want to reach out to our policy and mobilize the most possible voters, says Communications Director in the Labour Party, Ingrid Langerud to NTB.

Langerud says the SMS stunt was scheduled a long time in advance and did not come as a result of failing polls. The company Iper Direct has assisted Ap in the campaign.

Not illegal

The text message from Labour read as follows: ”Hi. The parliamentary elections will be close. You decide whether the Frp and the Conservatives will continue in Government. Do you want a change? School and elderly rather than tax cuts? Vote for the Labour Party!”

According to the Marketing Act, it is forbidden in business activities to direct marketing at persons using electronic communication methods without consent. Labour’s marketing effort is however is not illegal, according to the Consumer Ombudsman.

– Political messages like this are not covered by the provision we have in the legislation. The law simply does not regulate messages from political parties, says Legal Director at the Consumer Ombudsman, Frode Elton Haug, to VG.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today