ASA Ruling on Intelligent Lending Ltd t/a Ocean Finance

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint about a credit card advertisement broadcast by Intelligent Lending Limited t/a Ocean Finance. The complainant challenged whether the advertisement should have included a representative APR.

The radio advertisement, broadcasted in January 2018, stated “Apparently there are still some people who say they don’t want to apply for an Ocean credit card. That’s amazing ’cause there’s a credit limit of up to £1,500; texts so you keep control of your spending and you can see if you’ll be accepted before you apply at [website address]. Without affecting your credit rating. But I know the real reason people say they don’t want to apply – ’cause they’ve already got one. To apply for an Ocean credit card go to [website address]”.

In its assessment, the ASA noted that the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) Code stated that the advertising of unsecured consumer credit must comply with the rules set out in Chapter 3 of the FCA’s Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC). In particular, CONC  3.5.7 (1) required the inclusion of the representative APR in ads which indicated, in any way, that any of the terms on which credit was available was more favourable than corresponding terms applied in any other case or by any other creditors, or that included any incentive to apply for credit or to enter into an agreement under which credit was provided.

The ASA concluded that the way in which the information on the key features of the card was presented in particular, the inclusion of incentives and comparative indications triggered the requirement to include the representative APR.