Tackling scam ads for financial services

Google wrote to the FCA they are do the following in order to tackle scam ads for financial services:

  • In July 2020, Google announced an update to our Financial Services policy, which made financial services advertisers subject to a requirement to complete our Business Operations Verification process. This requires advertisers to provide further information about their business model, services offered and relationships with other brands or third parties. In December, Google announced that we have the right to pause financial services advertiser accounts while they complete Business Operations Verification.
  • In addition, Google is planning to verify the identity of all advertisers on its platforms, a process we call Advertiser Identity Verification. This requires advertisers to submit personal legal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who they are. Google will then use this information to generate an in-ad disclosure that shows their name and location when their ads run.
  • late last year Google updated its unreliable claims policy to restrict the rates of return a firm can advertise and ban the use of terms that make unrealistic claims. This update prohibits making unrealistic promises of large financial return with minimal risk, effort or investment. Many thanks to the FCA teams for their feedback on this subject, which we have incorporated into Google’s policy enforcement.

From the other side of London streets, Ofcom shared a case study, which stated the following:

Online regulation is a new and developing area. Regulators and platforms might need to test and evolve their approach to meet the dynamic nature of the market and the potential for unintended consequences.

Regulatory outcomes will be improved by platforms having their own robust systems to monitor the effectiveness and outcomes of their actions. This will be challenging to achieve and might itself require an iterative approach.

While this process is still starting, please bear in mind to do your own research, and be skeptic.

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