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How to advertise finance accurately

Dealers are under increasing pressure to advertise finance correctly.

In October 2004, changes were made to the way finance providers and dealers were allowed to advertise credit, both in point of sale materials and in dealer press adverts. The strict rules and regulations have presented dealers with a number of challenges.

There is no doubt that these and similar FSA changes have had a wide impact on the financial services industry. It’s rare to open an industry publication or newspaper without reading about prosecutions and fines for breaching the financial regulations and requirements.

Indeed, a recent survey found that 76% of financial advertisements in the UK failed to meet requirements, and in some cases were totally misleading.

Here are some of the important points that dealers need to be aware of when compiling credit adverts (for a full list please see: www.oft.gov.uk/business/legal/CCA/advertising).

Adverts should not:

  • Advertise weekly payments n Be false or misleading n Be anonymous or not name the advertiser

  • Advertise the amount of repayments/ other charges/ total amount payable without showing all financial items together and with equal prominence

  • Advertise a full advert without an address

  • Advertise any of charges/ repayments/ interest rates/ frequency of payments/ incentives/ comparative or non-status indications, without showing the typical APR

  • Show the typical APR in characters of less than one and one half times the size of any other financial characters

    Dealers who turn a blind eye to these points can expect a call from their local TSO. However, dealers who enrol on the Black Horse Approved Dealer Programme can benefit from more detailed guidance notes.

    For further information about how to become an Approved Dealer, please contact Linda McBride on 0131 311 2351.

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