What’s new in bank advertising?

Blog - Jul 04, 2019

Bank advertising has never been simple – you encounter numerous problems, including client dissatisfaction, with legal restrictions limiting your efforts.

As you strive to find your way through a pile of the NBS’ new guidelines, issued this year to regulate the area of financial services promotion, you can’t help but think that a former disclaimer (small print serving to follow the legal procedure and provide all the necessary information that no one reads, therefore a synonym for many lawsuits, mainly lost), was an easy task.

Aiming to protect users from mistakes potentially caused by ads for banking institutions, in addition to the usual guidelines for bank advertising, such as the one requiring to state the full name of a company, with or without  a logo, there are some provisions that have somewhat changed the way of advertising banking products and services. So, what’s new in that area?

Clear communication as an imperative

One of the new features is the principle of information reliability, for instance, which has largely not been followed in that form before. It defines that it is banned to use ambiguities and excessive or insufficient information in presenting banking products and services. Everything is clear for ambiguities and excessive information, but the question is how much information is sufficient to inform an average person, bearing in mind how much information regular banking offer has to contain, according to the Law on Financial Services.

No short-term offering

The same provision defines as illegal “claims that  a promoted financial service will be available in a short-term period”, with an explanation that such offering “deprives of an opportunity or time required for an adequate level of received information”, namely that potential users do not have enough time to consider thoroughly whether such offering is favourable for them or not. However, there is no defined minimum period for offering validity that would comply with the Decision, and thus marketing departments of banks and creative agencies, in charge of placing offering in a proper manner, avoid communication of such products. To conclude, short-term savings offering during the Savings Weeks and similar promotions are questionable.

Approved ads only

And last, but not the least, for every new product, in addition to a notice about the product submitted to the central bank, banks now also have to submit the exact plan of advertising it for the NBS’ approval.

All these novelties will certainly change the way banks are presented to the public, and our job is to find a proper manner and a proper measure of advertising that will enable the public to be fully informed, rules to be respected and clients to be satisfied.



Ana Roland

Account Director (Represent Communications, Belgrade)

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