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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Better risk warnings for payday loan ads

Financial Conduct Authority logo

The Financial Conduct Authority has approved a short, snappy risk warning to accompany ads for certain consumer credit products.

Brevity doesn’t come easily to the FCA – take their six hundred and forty six page policy statement on consumer credit – so it’s a pleasant surprise that they have consulted on the best risk warnings for short term loan products and agreed something less than half the length of their original caveat phrase proposal.

Before:

Think! Is this loan right for you? Over 2 million short-term loans were not paid off on time in 2011/2012. This can lead to serious money problems. If you’re struggling, go to www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk for free and impartial help.

38 words – 232 characters and around 14 seconds of airtime.

After:

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

14 words – 103 characters and around 6 seconds of airtime.

Radio Centre to the rescue

Joyce from Wonga

Radio Centre contributed to the FCA consultation and backed its arguments with quantitative research that demonstrated the value of a shorter, more focused phrase.

It’s not just shorter though. The agreed wording sounds more as if it’s flown from the Macbook Air of a copywriter than a lawyer’s fountain pen. It uses words people actually say and would be at home on the radio.

A good result for advertisers, radio stations and listeners.

The new risk warning will be used from 1 July 2014.