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There are a number of resources that may assist you in making decisions about financial publications and advertising.
ASIC Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance.
This guide is intended to assist promoters of all financial products and advice services from engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct in the promotion of these products and services. It covers any communications made by promoters that aim to inform consumers about or promote financial products or financial advice services.
The guide provides that advertisements should be balanced in nature, assisting consumers to both understand and provide realistic expectations for consumers.
The guide provides further information relating to the following:
- returns, benefits and risks (see RG 234.31–RG 234.44);
- warnings, disclaimers, qualifications and fine print (see RG 234.45– RG 234.50);
- fees and costs (see RG 234.52–RG 234.55);
- comparisons (see RG 234.56–RG 234.70);
- past performance and forecasts (see RG 234.71–RG 234.74);
- the use of certain terms and phrases (see RG 234.75–RG 234.85);
- the advertisement’s target audience (see RG 234.86–RG 234.92);
- consistency with disclosure documents (see RG 234.93–RG 234.96);
- photographs, diagrams, images and examples (see RG 234.97– RG 234.101); and
- the nature and scope of advice (see RG 234.102–RG 234.103).
There are also a number of other Regulatory Guides that deal with advertising guidance for particular financial products, these are more specific and may be helpful:
- Regulatory Guide 45 Mortgage schemes: Improving disclosure for retail investors (RG 45);
- Regulatory Guide 46 Unlisted property schemes: Improving disclosure for retail investors (RG 46);
- Regulatory Guide 156 Advertising of debentures and unsecured notes (RG 156);
- Regulatory Guide 227 Over-the-counter contracts for difference: Improving disclosure for retail investors (RG 227);
- Regulatory Guide 231 Infrastructure entities: Improving disclosure for retail investors (RG 231); and
- Regulatory Guide 232 Agribusiness managed investment schemes: Improving disclosure for retail investors (RG 232).
Ultimately, issues of misleading and deceptive conduct are determined by the courts. Holley Nethercote lawyers can assist you in reviewing promotional materials and disclosure documents before they are published.
Author: David Court
Co-contributor: Clare McAdam