01 April 1999

THE SO-CALLED ‘wealth warnings’ imposed on radio commercials for mortgages, investments and personal loans could be phased out shortly, following a meeting between Classic FM and consumer affairs minister Kim Howell. The ten-second mandatory warnings at the end of each spot are believed by the Radio Advertising Bureau to cost the industry around £17m in lost revenues. According to Classic FM sales director Giles Howard: 'We lose in two ways. First, we could sell that ten seconds of time to other businesses. Second, and most importantly, there are some financial services companies that don’t use radio because that last ten seconds is a negative statement about their product.' Says a DTI spokesman: 'We will be announcing something on that soon. It will be weeks rather than months.'