The Dos and Don’ts of UDAAP Compliance on Marketing Materials

john-henson-quote-people-pl

When it comes to marketing materials for consumer finance products, consumer protection should always come first. What you’re offering should be clear and easy to understand—anything that misleads or deceives consumers may be considered a violation of UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices). 

UDAAP compliance may feel overwhelming for marketing teams, but in the wise words of John Henson, “tell the customer what you’re going to do and then do it.” Any gap between those two could signal a UDAAP issue. 


Here’s a quick dos and don’ts list for marketing teams to reference when crafting marketing materials to proactively avoid UDAAP issues and protect consumers.


Do

  • Consult your compliance and legal teams for guidance on what’s appropriate to say versus what’s not appropriate for marketing messages
  • Use clear, objective, and easy-to-understand language
  • Display disclosures, terms, or other important information clearly and prominently
  • Include all key information on the product or offer, which can include:
    • Disclosures about fees, interest rates, and other terms and conditions
    • Information about eligibility requirements for the product
    • Any promotional offers or rewards associated with the product, including any limitations or conditions
    • Disclosures about risks associated with the product, if applicable
    • How to apply for the product or get more information, including contact information for the financial institution
dos-donts-03-pl
dos-donts-04-pl

Do

  • Substantiate any claims made with data, disclosures, etc.
  • Ensure that content complies with industry-specific or product-specific regulations and guidelines (consult with your compliance + legal teams)
  • Ensure that any testimonials or endorsements are genuine and accurately reflect the experiences of the endorsers
  • Review your copy from a consumer’s point of view—would you clearly understand what’s being advertised if you didn’t write it?
    • Ask another team member or coworker for their opinion if you’re unsure

Don't

  • Assume the consumer knows anything about the product or service when crafting copy and messaging
  • Alter marketing materials after they’ve been approved by your compliance or legal team
  • Make false or misleading claims about your products or services OR about your competitors’ products or services
  • Use deceptive or misleading visuals or graphics in your marketing materials, such as manipulated images that exaggerate results or hide fees and/or terms in graphics
  • Use fine print or other tactics to bury important disclosures or limitations
  • Use fear, high-pressure, or similar tactics to pressure consumers into making a purchase
dos-donts-02-pl
dos-donts-05-1-pl

Don't

  • Exaggerate claims about the benefits or features of a product or service
    • Terms like “free,” “discount,” or “no fees”
  • Use subjective language without any substantive information
    • Terms like “best,” “affordable,” or “lowest”
  • Make "no barrier to entry" claims without disclosing any limitations or conditions associated with the product or service
    • Terms like “guarantee,” “100%,” or “instant approval”
  • Use language that creates a false sense of urgency or a sense of panic
    • Terms like “immediately,” “seconds,” or “special offer”
  • Make promises or guarantees that you cannot deliver

Looking for visibility into your marketing materials for UDAAP compliance?

With PerformLine, you can rest peacefully knowing that our always-on compliance platform is continually monitoring your marketing channels to catch potential UDAAP violations in real time so you can quickly remediate issues, mitigate risk, and protect your brand. 

Learn more about how PerformLine can help your company proactively identify and mitigate UDAAP compliance risk across marketing channels before they become a bigger issue. 

Schedule a demo with our team today.

Learn More About PerformLine