Fighting garbled Ts&Cs

Our fight against lengthy warnings at the end of radio ads

One aspect of radio advertising that drives listeners crazy are the long and complex Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) at the end of certain ads. Those lengthy, garbled warnings are meant to protect consumers but sadly don’t achieve that goal. Instead they merely add to spot length (and therefore cost) and deter potential advertisers from using radio. The overall cost to industry is currently estimated at £120 million a year.

At their worst (usually when there is a financial offer) Ts&Cs can be as long as the original ad (over 20 seconds of a 40 second spot), and far too complicated for the listener to either understand or recall.

Radiocentre’s goal is to achieve better Ts&Cs which actually inform our listeners with well-crafted messages. In 2015 we started the process of trying to reform the regulation. 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 to achieve everyone’s goal: better informed consumers.

Our submissions to the EU and responses to other consultations, together with coverage of our campaign and some of the supporting evidence for shorter, more effective Ts&Cs can be found below.

If you are looking for copy guidelines on Ts&Cs, click here.


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

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

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

Where next?

Commercial Radio at a Glance

Commercial Radio at a Glance

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