Norway’s wildly popular singing duo, Marcus & Martinus, successfully inaugurated the use of a large new public sports facility in Oslo as a concert venue last weekend. They were facing a rebuke, however, for illegally urging their young fans to buy their merchandise.
Newspaper Dagsavisen reports that it was during their concert at Oslo’s refurbished Voldsløkka sports field Sunday night that the 15-year-old singing twins announced from the stage to their audience of roughly 30,000 that “we have a boutique on the grounds here … where you can buy T-shirts, bracelets and lots of other things. Løp og kjøp (run and shop!)”
That immediately created problems for concert arranger Atomic Soul, because the vast majority in the audience were minors just like the twins. It’s illegal in Norway to direct any advertising or marketing at children.
Tonje Hovde Skjelbostad of the Norwegian Consumer Ombud told Dagsavisen that concert arrangers need to be extra careful when audiences are mostly under age 18. Atomic Soul had a meeting with the ombud before the concert and Skjelbostad noted that they seemed sincere about “doing the right thing.”
Peer Osmundsvaag of Atomic Soul insists they were, and were well aware of all the young fans in the audience at the Marcus & Martinus’ concert, which otherwise won rave reviews. “The only thing we don’t have control over is what the performers themselves say,” Osmundsvaag said.
Atomic was fined for illegal marketing at a Justin Bieber concert in 2013. Osmundsvaag said his firm was taking the complaints from the Marcus & Martinus concert seriously and “distanced itself” from behaviour “not in accord with our guidelines.” There was no immediate comment from the twins themselves.