Icelandic Influencers Banned From Using Hidden Advertising

The Consumer Agency has ruled that two Icelandic social media influencers were not clear enough that some of their Instagram posts were in fact product advertisements. The Agency has banned both Sólrun Lilja Diego Elmarsdóttir and Tinna Alavisdóttir from using hidden advertising on the platform in the future, threatening fines if they do so.

The Agency was tipped off about the potential advertisements and requested information from the two women about whether or not they had received remuneration from the relevant companies for making the posts as well as how the business relationships with the companies were conducted. Although neither Sólrún nor Tinna received cash payments for the advertisements, they did receive free products in exchange for the promotion.

The consumer agency considered these “gifts” to be remuneration and that the Instagram posts did not make it sufficiently clear that they were made for commercial purposes.

IPN Virus Detected in East Iceland Fish Farm

Salmon Farm.

IPN virus has been detected in salmon in an open-net fish farm in Reyðarfjörður, East Iceland. It’s the first time that the virus has been detected in salmon in Iceland, though it was found in halibut in 1999. The virus poses no risk to humans.

Although the virus has been detected, its associated disease, infectious pancreatic necrosis, has not yet appeared in the salmon. In a press release, the Food and Veterinary Authority stated that the salmon in the net where the virus was detected is healthy and its condition overall good.

The press release states that it is likely the virus was transmitted to the fish from the surrounding environment. The Food and Veterinary authority confirms that the virus is harmless to humans and cannot be transmitted through fish products.

Jens Garðar Helgason, director of aquaculture company Laxar where the virus was detected, told RÚV the virus does not have much impact on salmon farming in Reyðarfjörður. “This virus can be harmful to small fry in freshwater. It hasn’t been detected in our freshwater stations rather it’s been detected in one out of twelve of our open nets.” To prevent the spread of the virus, the company has banned the transfer of salmon from that particular net. After they are harvested next fall, the area will remain unused for a year to prevent the virus from re-emerging.

New Law Allows Banning Cars to Fight Pollution

Reykjavík winter


Icelandic municipalities will be able to limit or even temporarily ban vehicular traffic to reduce pollution levels when new traffic legislation takes effect in January, RÚV reports. The legislation aims to decrease particulate pollution, which has plagued urban areas in Iceland, particularly on still, dry winter days.

Particulate pollution in the Reykjavík capital area has exceeded safe limits 14 times this year, while nitrogen dioxide (a gas present in car exhaust) has been measured above safe limits on three occasions, one of which was yesterday. To combat the issue, municipalities will soon be permitted to banning or limit traffic when air pollution levels are high, or there is a risk of pollution levels exceeding safe limits.

Many forms of restrictions

The restrictions can take many forms, as outlined in the legislation. Municipalities will be able to temporarily lower speed limits on certain streets or restrict larger vehicles. They will also be able to ban private vehicles in specific areas. Such a ban would not apply to all vehicles, however, but rather would be based on licence plates. For example, one day cars with licence plates ending in an odd number would be banned from certain areas, and then next cars with licence plates ending in an even number.

Enthusiasm varies

City Councillor and Chairperson of Reykjavík’s Environment and Health Committee Líf Magneudóttir expressed enthusiasm for the legislation. “This is a very welcome licence as municipalities have long called for different measures than just restricting the travel of people with respiratory illnesses or restricting children’s outdoor activities,” she stated in an interview. “Now we can finally do something about the issue when the legislation takes effect.” Lif stated that she has put together a task force to prepare how the legislation would be applied. “This is a huge project, as I see it. This is a public health issue, this is a health issue and of course also an environmental issue.”

Municipal authorities in Akureyri, North Iceland, are less keen on applying restrictions to traffic, according to RÚV’s sources, even though the town of 19,000 has also faced elevated particulate pollution levels due to cars. While a recent attempt to combat the issue by spreading saltwater on roads proved effective, the town’s residents complained it resulted in dirty cars.