RG 234 applies to any communication intended to advertise financial products, financial advice services, credit products or credit services.
For many marketers over the years, the old adage of “not letting the truth get in the way of a good story” may have been all the justification they needed for pushing the boundaries with extravagant claims for all sorts of products. But for the financial services sector, the potential to do great harm by making unsubstantiated claims in advertising far outweighs the damage caused by unproven statements regarding the effectiveness of a teeth-whitening toothpaste.
Around seven years ago, ASIC decided to take action on misleading advertising in the financial services sector, perhaps spurred on by the high number of questionable ads that had started appearing in the media in the years prior. From July 2010 to February 2012, actions by ASIC resulted in 117 advertisements across the financial services sector being withdrawn or remedied in response to concerns about poor practices and potentially misleading and deceptive conduct.
- Identify the factors that contributed to ASIC consulting on and issuing RG 234
- Differentiate marketing and advertising from other forms of disclosure
- Outline what marketing and advertising activities RG 234 covers
- Explain the key provisions/requirements in RG 234
- Discuss how ASIC supervises compliance with RG 234 and what enforcement powers it has
- Describe how compliant marketing and advertising fits into a licensee’s obligations