Advertising on social media: what FCA-regulated firms need to know

Advertising on social media: what FCA-regulated firms need to know

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), today is #digitalday.

No, we didn't know anything about it either.

That said, the creative types in this most august of government agencies have clearly been busy.

Over the past few weeks, they have cobbled together a number of handsome infographics on e-commerce and the Internet. Some of the tweets even include—and now's the time to start bating your breath—animated graphs.

Click on the play button in the tweet below and prepare to be stunned:

Or check out all of today's #digitalday tweets by scrolling through them here:

So what have we learnt?

After Denmark, the UK has the second highest proportion of social networkers in the EU. E-commerce is up. Use of the Internet generally is up.

In no sense would it take a genius to work out what the general trend is.

So it should come as no surprise to learn that firms in the consumer credit and financial services sector are champing at the bit to get online, stay online and communicate with their customers on social media.

Easier said than done?

We all know about the disclaimers that such firms need to pepper their marketing materials with. How can any warning be subtly shoehorned into the 140 characters of a tweet?

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to

Answer? It can't.

Otherwise it begs the question, 'Where is the actual message supposed to go?'

In fairness, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has produced guidance which recognises the difficulties inherent in this area.

To this end, the FCA Handbook of rules and guidance allows disclaimers to be discarded in certain circumstances such as wh

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