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IPA alerts members to financial regulator guidance on social media use

The IPA is today drawing its members’ attention to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Guidance Consultation on Social Media and Customer Communications.


The Guidance explains that advertisers in the financial sector are increasingly using social media to communicate promotional messages to consumers and that certain social media platforms have character limitations making it sometimes difficult to comply with FCA rules on promotions which may require detailed risk warnings. The closing date for responses to the consultation is 6 November.

The FCA’s rules are intended to be media neutral and designed to ensure that promotional messages to consumers are fair, clear and not misleading. The guidance aims to help advertisers under its remit use social media platforms for promotional communications without breaching its rules. It explains that platforms which have character limitations may not be appropriate to advertise complex financial products but could be used to signpost the consumer to more detailed information available elsewhere. Similarly, it reminds advertisers that certain types of promotion must carry risk warnings and that advertisers need to consider whether the particular medium they want to use is appropriate.

Richard Lindsay, IPA Legal Director said: “The requirement for certain types of ad to carry sometimes lengthy risk warnings or other forms of terms and conditions which are unlikely to help consumers but which are mandatory nevertheless, is a common issue for advertisers. It will be interesting to see whether this consultation manages to tackle the problem without detriment either to the advertiser or the consumer.”

Read the full guidance.

Last updated 07/08/2014

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