Date of this Version
The consumer credit industry is a competitive market which is facing challenging times in view of more stringent regulation in recent times. Advertising is an essential ingredient in generating business in this environment, thus an awareness of acceptable advertising parameters is important for credit providers. Not only do organisations face civil and criminal sanctions for transgressions of the legislation, but directors and managers may be personally liable for misleading or deceptive advertising. This paper deals with a discussion of advertising legislation and current developments; advertising interest rates and requirements for comparison rates; false or misleading advertising and ASIC Guidelines; including examples of common breaches; and concluding with an advertising “checklist” for credit providers. This discussion takes place in the context of the advertising provisions in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCPA) National Credit Code (the Code) and Regulations, the Australian Consumer Law and proposed legislation: Consumer Credit and Corporations Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Bill 2011 (the Draft Bill), which was introduced into the House of Representatives on 21 September 2011. It further references the ASIC Consultation Paper 167, issued on 30 August 2011: ‘Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance’.