Advertising financial products and services: obligations and ASIC’s expectations

  • ASIC is actively monitoring financial services advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ASIC will act where we see misleading claims and predatory behaviour.
  • Before publishing financial ads, look at ASIC's Regulatory Guide 234 and where appropriate, seek legal advice.

ASIC’s cross-team advertising working group is focused on two areas:

  1. Looking for advertisements that are misleading or deceptive
  2. Looking for advertisements that help us identify products or services which are unsuitable or inappropriate and may be seeking to exploit people in the current environment.

ASIC is monitoring advertising of a wide range of products and services across a broad range of media, including social media, using a mix of traditional and innovative regtech monitoring tools.

Firms advertising financial services and products

ASIC would like to remind advertisers of financial services and products that compliance with legal obligations, specifically the prohibition of false or misleading representations, is paramount during this time of uncertainty.

In particular, warnings, disclaimers and qualifications should not be inconsistent with other content in an advertisement, including any headline claims. Warnings, disclaimers and qualifications should have sufficient prominence to effectively convey key information to a reasonable member of the audience on first viewing the advertisement.

Before publishing an advertisement that relates to a financial service or product, firms should have regard to Regulatory Guide 234: advertising financial products and services (including credit): good practice guidance and where appropriate seek legal advice.

About ASIC

ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.

This article was originally published on 18 June 2020.