On 1 July 2015, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published an adjudication in which it upholds both a complaint made by three complainants and a challenge it had itself raised concerning a television advertisement for a short-term loan provider. The advertisement did not include the representative APR of the product and the ASA concluded that the references in the advertisement to flexibility and early repayment without penalties amounted to an incentive to apply for credit, meaning the representative APR should have been included.  Further, the claims made suggested these features were unique to the provider and not available through its competitors which constituted a comparative indication requiring disclosure of the representative APR.

ASA concluded that the claims in the advertisement that the product gives customers “the flexibility to repay early, without penalties” and represents “the flexible way to borrow” breached the Broadcast Advertising Code by misleadingly presenting rights given to consumers (under the Consumer Credit Act 1974) as a distinctive feature of the provider’s offer.

For the full adjudication click here.