FCA guides on social media promotions

Sarah Davidson

August 6, 2014

The FCA said firms should make it clear when their online posts are adverts, using #ad on Twitter for example.

It added that messages should be “fair, clear and not misleading” even if they end up in the hands of non-intended recipient through re-tweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook.

The FCA also promoted the use of image advertising and infographics, which it said were ideal for getting round character limits.

The regulatory body stipulated that risk warnings on products still apply with social media promotions.

The FCA said it was all for using social media for financial promotions, acknowledging that complying with the rules is difficult when using a small number of characters.

Clive Adamson, director of Supervision at the FCA, said: “The FCA sees positive benefits from using social media but there has to be an element of compliance. Primarily, what firms do on social media must ensure customers are at the heart of their business.

“Our overall approach is that financial promotions, whether on social media or traditional media, should be fair, clear and not misleading.

“We have had extensive industry engagement on this issue and we believe our guidance is a sensible approach that doesn’t affect industry’s ability to innovate using new forms of media. We recognise social media are constantly evolving.

“We, therefore, welcome feedback to today’s consultation and look forward to continuing the discussion with industry.”

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