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Code for Financial Advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority has rewritten its Code for Financial Advertising. This is a copy of the new code.

Monday, August 17th 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

CODE FOR FINANCIAL ADVERTISING

The Code should be read in conjunction with legislation and in particular the Securities Act 1978, the Securities Regulations 1983, the Credit Contracts Act 1981 and the Fair Trading Act 1986.

An advertisement which adheres to the letter of a particular law nevertheless may be in breach of the Code if it does not comply with and respect the spirit and intention of the Code.

Definitions

"Appropriate industry standards" are industry standards, guidelines or codes set by a recognised industry group and endorsed by the ASA.

"Financial advertisements" are advertisements for the borrowing, lending, saving or investment of money, for guarantees, financial instruments and the purchase or sale of securities.

BASIC PRINCIPLES

  1. Financial advertisements should comply with the laws of New Zealand and appropriate industry standards.
  2. Financial advertisements should observe a high standard of social responsibility particularly as consumers often rely on such services for their financial security.
  3. Financial advertisements should strictly observe the basic tenets of truth and clarity and should not by implication, omission, ambiguity, small print, exaggerated claim or hyperbole mislead, deceive or confuse, or be likely to mislead, deceive or confuse consumers, abuse their trust, exploit their lack of knowledge or, without justifiable reason, play on fear.

NOTE: 1. Attention is drawn to the strict provisions of sections 33, 38 and 38A of the Securities Act 1978 and to regulations 8 to 23 of the Securities Regulations 1983 which are available on request. Regulation 17(6) has particular relevance to the position of agencies who publish financial advertisements.

2. Attention is also drawn to section 30 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 which requires the prior consent of the Reserve Bank for the reproduction of banknotes in an advertisement where they are likely to be confused or mistaken for the real thing.

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