New improved credit advertising regulations

The excessively complicated rules which for the last 15 years have governed the content of credit and hire advertisements are about to be simplified (a little). New regulations come into force on 31 October 2004 which will replace the existing 1989 regulations.

The 1989 regulations currently provide for three levels of detail in the presentation of information about credit facilities: simple, intermediate and full credit and hire advertisements. These categories will be abolished and replaced by single lists of information for inclusion in credit and hire advertisements.

There are new rules about the prominence to be given in ads to the APR and new security warnings (“YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED…”). All credit advertisements must use plain and intelligible language and be easily legible (or clearly audible).

Although simpler than the existing regulations, the new ones are still likely to be daunting to anyone unfamiliar with the credit advertising regime. We have therefore prepared an interactive summary of the content and presentation rules for credit ads which should make things clearer:

Credit Advertising Regulations

All advertisements published on or after 31 October (apart from those contained in a catalogue or directory of at least 50 pages) must comply with the new rules. Getting it wrong could lead to a fine in the magistrates court. Advertisers, agencies and media owners therefore need to become familiar with the new regulations now.

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