U.K. Facebook Creatives Branded ‘Illegal’

A range of ads promoting credit and loan facilities on Facebook are in fact illegal, according to U.K. debt charity Credit Action.

The charity has said that a number of companies advertising on the social networking site are not providing information on their products that is required to satisfy U.K. advertising laws set out by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

An article on the credit action website reads, “If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you can’t miss the adverts for ‘payday loans’ and credit cards. What you may not have realised is that many of these ads are breaking the law!”

The offending ads fail to state the annual percentage rate of interest (APR) of the loans being advertised. According to Credit Action, this information must be clearly displayed if the ad offers an incentive or interest-free period, makes comparisons with other lenders’ products, or provides services tailored for those with poor credit histories.

Malcolm Hurlston, the charity’s chief executive, said that some of the companies are U.S.-based lenders who may not be aware of U.K. advertising rules, but that others are from big-name firms who have been active in this country for some time.

“We must be sure that such creative products concur with existing rules and regulations and offer customers the full protection of the law,” he told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper.

Credit Action has written to the OFT complaining about the ads, but says that users should also report them to Facebook.

Offending companies include Payday U.K., Payday Advance U.K. and My Payday Online.

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