‘Abolish Financial Warnings in Finance Ads,’ Agencies Tell DTI

05 October 2001

Britain’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has appealed to the Department of Trade and Industry to abolish the current mandatory credit warnings in financial advertising, arguing that these are largely ineffective and unintelligible to consumers.

Responding to a DTI consultation paper on modernizing the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the IPA calls for a more thoughtful approach through point of sale literature, telesales, face to face meetings and in company literature.

The existing financial warnings, opines the IPA …

• Do not properly fulfil their objective of informing the public because of their complexity and length

• Are largely ineffective and unintelligible to the general public

• Adversely affect the advertising on which they appear to a level which is out of all proportion to any benefit they deliver the consumer

• Are largely unnecessary, since consumers cannot commit themselves via the medium concerned, and that they will be given more intelligible advice later in the purchase process.

Said IPA Director of Media Affairs Geoffrey Russell: “Although we are in favour of proper regulation to ensure the public is protected and informed, we don't believe it is working in this particular case. Current credit warnings in ads simply do not do work - you know it, I know it - and so does the man and woman in the street, who simply dismiss them as meaningless gobbledegook. The consumer is much better protected through other means, like point of sale literature. "

News source: IPA Online (UK)