The marketing of financial services products via television, online and radio must be one of the very best examples of regulation gone mad that one could find.
In 2014, financial services accounted for 20% of all advertising spend at £158m, with price comparison site moneysupermarket.com the leading individual spender.
Research by eMarketer forecasts that in 2015, mobile will overtake all of print, including both newspaper and magazines; in 2016 it will overtake television; and in 2017 mobile will become the single biggest ad channel in the UK market.
And yet the biggest failing of all these ads is that no matter how much money is put into the position of the ad or making it appealing, the small print significantly dampens the impact.
The FCA has guidance on the subject of financial services advertising and there is a lot of good sense in it.
The FCA state that “Warnings should be right for the product, the medium, the audience and the content of the promotion. Irrelevant or inappropriate warnings may only discourage or confuse consumers for no useful reason and will result in the advert being unclear”.
However, it still seems that striking a balance between providing relevant information in a compliant way is proving confusing.
The next time you actually listen to or view advert please do so carefully.
That garbled message running at the end of so many does the very thing that the FCA advise against. Or, try and read the small print on the final frame of a banner ad and see just how useful it proves to be?
Is financial services advertising regulation simply there to tick a compliance box? What do you think are good examples of financial services ads out there, let us know?