Bigmouthmedia calls for new rules governing sale of financial products online
Bigmouthmedia has published a white paper calling for the Financial Services Authority to introduce specific guidelines governing the sale of financial products and services online.
While almost a quarter of all UK-based marketing spend is now online, there are still no specific guidelines for how financial marketers should engage in online marketing. Bigmouthmedia’s white paper demonstrates growing cause for concern amongst marketers that while the internet has created a unique set of conditions; the FSA has yet to provide specific guidelines for marketers using the channel.
“It is time for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to address one of the most neglected issues of its time and produce a set of guidelines designed to help financial services market their services both ethically and effectively. At a point when restoring the industry’s position in the public esteem remains of critical importance, getting the message right online will be a significant step forward,” said Chris Cathcart, Senior Finance Strategist at bigmouthmedia.
“The internet was in its infancy when the organisation founded to regulate the finance sector first opened its doors, but in little more than a decade it has revolutionised the way that consumers interact with the commercial world. We believe that a specific set of rules developed to specifically address the unique conditions surrounding online trade could bring an end to a lot of existing confusion.”
Digital advertising formats make compliance with the standards set out for traditional media extremely difficult, and in a culture where companies selling financial products must be extremely vigilant against falling foul of legislation, marketers find their ability to engage with the burgeoning marketplace restricted. The problem, however, does not stop there.
As a recent bigmouthmedia survey revealed, consumers are less than content with the way financial services are sold to them online. They demonstrate widespread mistrust of the claims made of a raft of available products and a clear preference for terms and conditions written in plain English they can understand.
“Bigmouthmedia’s paper on the regulation of online financial distribution makes some very interesting observations on the distinction between online and offline financial promotion, and the need for greater flexibility in the online world to build up the picture for the consumer, rather than trying to deliver all the jargon and protection information in the single advert view. It highlights the need for ’Online’ consumers to be afforded the same degree of protection as ’offline’ but that the delivery needs to be different. At Money Dashboard we will strongly support any regulatory initiatives that champion ’online’ financial consumers getting to a more intuitive and simplified view of product information to assist them with financial decisions,” said Gavin Littlejohn, CEO of Money Dashboard.
Founded in 1997, bigmouthmedia is Europe’s largest independent digital marketing agency. With a team of over 200 staff located across 13 offices in 10 countries on 3 continents, the company maximises exposure for major brands online through a variety of fully integrated digital marketing channels: Search engine optimisation, PPC, Online Media Planning, affiliate marketing, Social Networking, Brand Monitoring, Online PR and Web Analytics. Bigmouthmedia also provides up to date daily digital marketing news to ensure clients are fully informed and aware of all industry developments.
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