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Terms & Conditions: persuade and protect

Terms & Conditions

One aspect of radio advertising that drives listeners crazy is the wretched Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) at the end of certain ads. Those lengthy, garbled warnings are meant to protect consumers but sadly, they don’t achieve that goal. Instead they only succeed in deterring potential advertisers from using radio. This costs our industry (in lost advertising revenues) a conservative estimate of £130 million a year.

Ts&Cs are often, at 30 seconds, as long, or longer, than the original ad and completely incomprehensible. Radiocentre’s goal is to achieve better warnings, which actually inform our listeners with well-crafted messages.

To that end, in the autumn of 2015, we started the process of trying to reform this thorn in commercial radio’s side. Our plea to our regulator friends, both in the EU and the UK, is to allow us to use our expertise in tailoring messages to suit audiences, which will achieve everyone’s goal: better informed consumers.

Our submissions to the EU and coverage resulting from this campaign can be found below.

Useful Slides and Research Studies

Presentation: Financial terms and conditions and The Consumer Credit Directive January 2016

This presentation focuses on the impact of the Consumer Credit Directive on financial terms and conditions in radio advertising, using research to understand not only how complex financial terms and conditions are viewed by consumers but also the extent to which listeners can absorb and recall them.

Download Here

Research study: The effect of lengthy terms and conditions on consumer attention and perceptions

Produced in 2013, this study gathers together current evidence including published research on terms and conditions in advertising Download here.

Research study: Improving the effectiveness of risk warnings in radio advertising

Based on new research commissioned with independent research agency Other Lines of Enquiry this study looks at how simplifying financial terms and conditions can affect consumer perceptions and recall

Download Here

Consultation Submissions

March 2016 Submission to the European Commission’s REFIT Platform

Radiocentre’s submission to the Commission’s REFIT Platform requesting a review of Article 4 of the Consumer Credit Directive, responsible for the representative example in advertising Download Here

Jan 2016 Radiocentre response to FCA Quarterly Consultation CP15/42 relating to consumer credit regulation

The FCA’s quarterly consultation paper CP15/42 included a recommendation to exclude the requirement for 0% interest credit offers to include a full representative example. Radiocentre’s response fully supports this recommendation. Download Here

April 2015 Radiocentre response to FCA Consultation Paper CP15/6 proposed changes to rules and guidance

Radiocentre’s response to this consultation paper continues to emphasise the principles of ensuring any terms and conditions are clear and simple without unnecessary financial jargon. Radiocentre also challenges the validity of extending the need for a representative example to 0% interest offers, i.e. beyond the requirements of the Consumer Credit Directive. Download Here

October 2014 Radiocentre response to Treasury Open Consultation on the implementation of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive

Radiocentre makes references to the recent submission made to the FCA on the EU Mortgage Credit Directive and re-emphasises radio industry support for the FCA’s guiding principles but further stresses the ineffectiveness of lengthy prescriptive financial terms and conditions in advertising such as the representative example introduced by the Mortgage Directive. Download Here

October 2014 Radiocentre response to FCA Consultation Paper CP14/20 on the Implementation of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive

Radiocentre’s supports the FCA’s principles of ensuring all financial promotions are “clear fair and not misleading” but, using research based evidence, challenges the effectiveness of a representative example in mortgage advertisements where any figures relating to cost of credit or interest rate are mentioned in advertising. Download Here

December 2013 Radiocentre response to FCA Consultation Paper CP13/10 Detailed proposals for the FCA regime for consumer credit

Using evidence from research studies and detailed analysis, Radiocentre responds to the FCA’s consultation on consumer credit and payday loans, making the case for a much simplified risk warning for High Cost Short Term Credit advertisements and requesting a review of the requirement for a representative example as dictated by the EU Consumer Credit Directive Download Here

Media Coverage

Our fight against Terms and Conditions has been widely covered in the national media.

Independent Article

16 March 2016

Guardian Article

14 March 2016

Radio 4 Money Box

6 March 2016

Campaign Magazine

21 January 2016

Radio Today

4 May 2016

If you have further questions about Terms & Conditions or wish to speak to us, please contact Judith Spilsbury, our Head of Training & Speical Projects at

Sound, commercial, sense.
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