March 29, 2019

Advertising APRs on Facebook, Phones and More: Disclosing Credit Terms in Online Advertising

Advertising credit products through online, mobile, and social media channels requires applying the Trust in Lending Act (“TILA”), 5 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., and Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. Part 1026, disclosure rules to new (and changing) media. While the rules accommodate electronic disclosures somewhat, it is not always clear how disclosures can and/or should be made in space-constrained media. Advertisers must balance marketing considerations with legal and compliance.

Specific issues facing advertisers of credit products include:

  • The type of disclosures required by the ad
  • Size and formatting of disclosure text
  • The location of disclosures (e.g., in the body of the ad, a footnote, or elsewhere)
  • Conveying “clear and conspicuous” disclosures in online media, including using hyperlinks, pop-ups/scroll-over windows, and adjusting to mobile browsers

Advertisers must tackle these compliance challenges not only for ad’s posted to the company’s website or sent electronical through an e-mail blast, but for banner ads, search engine ads, social media content posted on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a variety of others.

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