Welcome to the Danish Consumer Ombudsman. On this page you will find contact information as well as information about our work, complaint procedure and guidelines and regulation.

One of our most important tasks is to ensure that trade, business, and public enterprises comply with the Danish Marketing Practices Act and the principles of fair marketing practices in general.

The definition of the Danish Consumer Ombudsman institution (DCO) and its field of responsibility is laid down in the Danish Marketing Practices Act.

The institution was founded in 1975. The Consumer Ombudsman is appointed for a period of six years by the minister responsible for business and consumer affairs. The institution is an independent authority, which means that the Ombudsman can prioritise the institution's work and activities according to resources and needs.

The DCO also supervises compliance with the Danish Act on Payment Services, the Act on Legal Counselling, the E-commerce Act, the Ban on Tobacco Advertising Act as well as a number of civil law provisions following from other consumer protection legislation.

The marketing practices art

The concept of marketing covers a wide range of activities: Marketing is when a business or trader advertises or launches marketing campaigns or provides information about a certain product to consumers. It is also an example of marketing when agreements or contracts are made. Finally, after-sales activities, e.g. collection of debts etc., are also considered part of marketing.

What constitutes fair marketing practices is subject to change over time and the development in society in general. However, the following principles laid down in the Danish Marketing Practices Act remain beyond dispute:

  • Marketing activities must not be unreasonably intrusive, aggressive or offensive 
  • It is considered an offence to make use of misleading information in order to induce consumers to buy a product or service
  • The Marketing Practices Act also applies to the form and contents of a guarantee, distribution of commercial messages and the contents of manuals
  • Business and trade must act according to the principles of good marketing practices – in other words, unfair and unreasonable conduct of business is likely to conflict with the act.

The DCO at work

The DCO investigates specific complaints as well as cases of a wider public importance concerning marketing activities and payment instruments. He does not, however, settle individual disputes between consumers and traders as such, but he can negotiate settlements on behalf of consumers.

The DCO also issues guidelines and guidance papers concerning specific or more general marketing issues on a regular basis, and traders can obtain an advance indication concerning the legality of contemplated marketing activities.

Legal powers

The DCO is authorised by law to bring civil and criminal actions on behalf of complainants, but he may also request the police to initiate investigation and prosecution to bring a charge against a trader. Further, the DCO has the authority to issue an interim injunction in situations where it is crucial to sustain a case against a trader as awaiting a court order would otherwise make the whole purpose of bringing an action for injunction fail.

Finally, the DCO has access to bring collective redress actions on behalf of groups of consumers.

The secretariat

The institution was founded in 1975. The secretariat consists of approximately 26 people - most of them with a background in law. The DCO is situated in the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority, who also puts staff and other resources at the secretariat’s disposal.

Traders and consumers that are not resident in Denmark also have access to lodge complaints with the Danish Consumer Ombudsman if they come across misleading marketing activities emanating from Denmark or for example receive unsolicited commercial communication.

When deciding which consumer protection issues to look into, the DCO seeks out issues whose solution will benefit the collective interests of consumers. So when he assesses whether an enquiry should lead to further investigation, he stresses:

  • The relevancy of the complaint, i.e. does the core of the problem constitute a real nuisance to many consumers, and has it resulted in many complaints;
  • The gravity of the case for the individual consumer; 
  • The generality of the problem, i.e. whether the problem cuts across different trades or sectors.

While we may have to prioritise when it comes to initiate proceedings and investigations, we always endeavour to provide complainants with a useful answer. All complaints add to the general picture and help us decide where to concentrate our efforts.

How to complain over spam

In Denmark, complaints over electronic spam (email, text messages, MMS etc.) are lodged with the Consumer Ombudsman.

Section 6 of the Danish Marketing Practices Act makes it an offence to distribute commercial messages via fax, email or any other electronic technology to anyone, whether consumer, trader, public authority or something else without prior consent. In order to ensure that business and trade comply with the act, we examine the complaints submitted over unsolicited commercial communication on a continuous basis.

We receive somewhere between 500 and 1,000 complaints over domestic spam every month, and some of these complaints lead to further investigation of traders who breach the act. The many complaints help us take measures against the most flagrant offences.

This means that even if your complaint does not prompt us to take action at the moment, it does provide us with an overview as to where our resources are best spent; that is, you help us make sure that DCO resources are invested in activities and investigations that will benefit as many consumers as possible.

How we can help

While we are often able to track down and prosecute Danish traders who use spam as an easy marketing trick, things become more problematic when dealing with spam emanating from abroad. This applies to fraudulent spam in particular – the so-called scams. The senders are apt at hiding their identity.

However, if the email comes from a trader resident in the EU or the other Nordic countries, the DCO is more often able to help due to the existence of cooperation agreements and harmonised EU legislation.

Where and how to send your complaint

The DCO has created two spam mail boxes to which we kindly ask you to forward your complaint. If you receive bulk mail from Danish spammers, you can use whereas foreign spam should be sent to

Ask yourself three questions before you send your complaint:

• Was the email sent by a private enterprise, i.e. a trader, company or business? Emails sent by private persons, political organisations etc. are not unlawful

• Is the email really unsolicited or did I consent to receiving commercial messages from this trader?

• Is the objective behind the email to advertise something? Only emails whose contents are commercial are unlawful

And remember:
Attach the email in question to your electronic complaint. Once forwarded, you will receive an automatic email reply which contains a link to a small questionnaire about the spam you have received (in Danish only). We kindly ask you to fill in the questionnaire if possible.

Complaints about emails from the USA can be submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via

Other electronic commercial enquiries

  • SMS/MMS: If you wish to complain over an unsolicited text message, you are welcome to submit the message via email if you can – check with your telecom service provider. Otherwise make an exact transcript of the message and inform us of the name of the sender along with date and time of reception.You can send it to dansk@spamklage if your complaint relates to a Danish sender or if you wish to complain over electronic messages from a foreign sender. Once forwarded, you will receive an automatic email reply which contains a link to a small questionnaire about the spam you have received (in Danish only). We kindly ask you to fill in the questionnaire if possible.
  • Fax: Make a scan of the fax along with the details on when you received the fax and from whom. Attach the scan to an email and forward it to if your complaint relates to a Danish sender or if you wish to complain over a fax from a foreign sender. Once forwarded, you will receive an automatic email reply which contains a link to a small questionnaire about the spam you have received (in Danish only). We kindly ask you to fill in the questionnaire if possible.

I do not understand Danish

You may send your complaint regarding eletronic or other unsolicited commercial enquiries to