Approved By The Governing Authority
Current Version 2019.1.0

This policy governs and controls advertising within the business to ensure compliance with prevailing legislation and the fair treatment of customers.


This policy covers all individuals working at all levels and grades, including managers, officers, directors, employees, consultants, contractors, trainees, homeworkers, part-time and fixed-term employees, casual staff and volunteers (collectively referred to as staff or employees).

All staff are responsible for their own compliance with this policy and for ensuring that it is consistently applied. All staff should ensure that they take the time to read and understand their roles and responsibilities in respect of it.  Breach of this policy will be dealt with under the internal Disciplinary Procedure.


The policy is reviewed annually to ensure that it meets legal requirements and reflects best practice.


ad·ver·tise –verb (used with object) to announce or praise (a product, service, etc.) in some public medium of communication in order to induce people to buy or use it.(as per dictionary.com)

Examples of advertising would include website advertising, flyers or other promotional hand-outs, car magnets which may be branded, banners, radio advertisements, magazine advertisements etc. where financial services are noted.


Advertising is clearly defined in the General Code of Conduct for financial services providers.

“advertisement” means any communication (including a communication by means of a public radio service), published throuqh any medium and in any form, by itself or toqether with any other communication, which is intended to create public interest in the business, financial services, financial products or related services of a provider, or to persuade the public (or a part thereof) to transact in respect of a financial product, financial service or related service in any manner, but which does not purport to provide detailed information to or for a specific client reqardinq a specific financial product, financial service or related service, and ‘advertising’ or ‘advertises’ has a corresponding meaning.

It includes any written/ printed/ electronic or spoken communication (including a radio advert), aimed at the general public, which is meant merely to spotlight the marketing or promotion of the business, financial products or financial services. Advertising does not provide detailed information regarding any such financial services and is not aimed at any particular client.

“client” includes the general public.


Our business believes in the highest ethical standards of publishing.  We endorse open communication lines with our stakeholders to ensure all understand our products and/or services and are placed in a position whereby informed choice can be made.

We include advertising as part of our marketing strategy, and therefore need to comply at all times with legislation.

The following rules apply:


No advertising or canvassing or marketing may happen unless we are authorised as a financial services provider (“FSP”) or a representative of an FSP.


All advertisements and financial promotions must be assessed and approved by a  key individual prior to publication to ensure these are clear, fair and not misleading.

No person may place any advertisement before approval has been given in writing and the appropriate process followed to ensure that this is appropriate, clear, fair and not misleading.  The approval process includes steps to ensure material is appropriate for, and understandable by the target audience.

All advertising, stationery and websites shall be reviewed regularly for compliance and a report submitted to the Governing Authority to confirm content and process integrity.

Feedback on customer experience of product performance, promotional material, and service delivery drives us to better performance. The business therefore encourages all such communications. Any customer queries and complaints shall be investigated and considered to improve or stop promotions or advertisements, in accordance with the approved complaints procedure.


Where any advertising or marketing is produced or published by a third party, the key individual remains responsible for ensuring compliance with all requirements and for not approving any non-compliant advertisements or marketing.


Any written, printed, or electronic marketing material, including but not limited to brochures, application forms, business cards, and presentation slides must contain the name of the business as well as reference to the fact that the business is authorised as a financial services provider, or alternatively, include its authorisation numbers . It must be clear as to who the Financial Services Provider is.


All advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the customer. Every advertisement must have a clearly identified target audience, and the appropriateness of the advertisement must be assessed against this target audience.  Advertisements relating to a financial product which is targeted at a particular type or group of client must make this targeting clear.


Appropriate mediums must be used to publish any advertisement in relation to the complexity of the features of a product or service or other information being communicated. The following are common mediums used for advertising and marketing:

  1. Television and radio commercials;
  2. Billboards; signs, and banners
  3. Ads in magazines, newspapers, phonebooks, and directories;
  4. Direct mail marketing and form letters;
  5. Flyers, handouts and pamphlets;
  6. Clothing items, hats, buttons, pens;
  7. Information on the website;
  8. Lists of names used for marketing purposes;
  9. Special offers;
  10. Lotteries, drawings, and contests;
  11. Sponsoring fund raisers in exchange for free advertising;
  12. Links to other companies’ websites;
  13. Allowing other companies to advertise their products or services on business premises; and
  14. Advertisements for products added to customer statements or receipts.

When in doubt as to whether a promotion is considered advertising, contact compliance for guidance.


All information, where provided in writing, must be in a clear and readable print size, spacing and format. Information required to be disclosed may not be minimized, in small or unreadable text or font, be obscure, or presented in an ambiguous fashion or intermingled with the text of the advertisement to be confusing or misleading.

Each piece of information in an advertisement must be prominent and proximate enough to other information so as not to mislead the average targeted client.

Where an advertisement carries a warning statement about risks involved in buying or selling a financial product, this statement must be prominently rendered or displayed and not be hidden in fine or unreadable print, but must be able to effectively convey key information.


When information must be disclosed prominently, the following must be considered:

  1. the target audience of the advertisement;
  2. the likely information needs of the average targeted client;
  3. prominence in the context of the advertisement as a whole;
  4. positioning of the text and audibility and speed of speech;
  5. the duration of displays of key information;
  6. background;
  7. colour; and
  8. font size.

A statement or information is not prominent if it is:

  1. obscured through the close proximity of promotional illustrations and/or additional text
  2. difficult to read due to the use of small font sizes, unclear type styles or the duration for which it is displayed
  3. likely to be overlooked due to its position;
  4. superimposed across a coloured or patterned background which lessens its visual impact; or
  5. difficult to hear or understand due to the volume or speed at which speech is delivered.


Negative option marketing, where an agreement will automatically come into existence unless the client explicitly declines the offer, is not permitted.


No advertisement may be published using the trade name, logo or symbol of the product or service,  advertising campaign or advertising property of another entity or organisation, unless the prior written permission of the proprietor of the advertising goodwill has been obtained.


No existing advertisement, local or international, or any part thereof may be copied in a manner that is recognisable or clearly evokes the existing concept and which may result in the likely loss of potential advertising value.


Where an editorial style advertisement is published, the business must ensure that anyone who looks at the advertisement is able to see, without reading it closely, that it is an advertisement and not editorial matter.  In the case of a single advertisement occupying a whole page or part of a page, the following requirements apply:

  1. The word “advertisement” should stand alone at the head of the advertisement in such size and weight of type as to be easily seen.
  2. If the advertisement occupies less than half a page, it should be boxed in completely or if half-page or more, separated from any adjacent matter by a distinct border.
  3. Particular care should be taken wherever the size and style of type in the advertisement is the same as, or closely resembles that of the editorial matter.
  4. Where paid-for space is in the style of editorial, whether paid for by the same or different advertisers, particular care is needed to ensure that no part can be mistaken for editorial matter.


Where advertising is done by way of telephone or mobile phone call, voice or text message or other electronic communication, the client must be provided with the option to opt-out at no charge. This may be either during the call or within a reasonable time after.

Where tele-advertising occurs, the responsible person must regularly confirm in writing, that any voice-logging is fully functional and retrievable, and that backups are tested on a regular basis to ensure data integrity


No advertising may offend against good taste or decency or be offensive to public or sectoral values and sensitivities, unless the advertising is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.


Advertisements must be factually correct, excluding aspects of puffery, and must provide a balanced presentation of key information. An advertisement, when examined as a whole, must not be constructed in such a way as to lead the average targeted client to any false conclusions he or she might reasonably rely upon.

It is essential to consider that the complexities of finance may well be beyond many of those to whom the opportunities they offer appeal, and that, therefore, the advertiser bears a particular responsibility to ensure that advertisements in no sense take advantage, wittingly or not, of the lack of experience or knowledge or the credulity of those to whose attention it is likely to come. Prior to approval, the business must consider the conclusion likely to be made by targeted clients having regard to the literal meaning of words, impressions from non-verbal portions of the advertisement and materials and descriptions omitted from the advertisement.

Advertisements may not be framed to abuse the trust of the customer or exploit a lack of experience or knowledge or credulity.

The form and content of an advertisement must be truthful, complete and clear enough to avoid deception and must not have the capacity or tendency to mislead or deceive, in fact or by implication. No statement or visual presentation which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the customer in any way may be included.

All information must be provided in plain language, to avoid uncertainty or confusion, and terms must be defined or explained as if the average targeted client could not reasonably be expected to understand them.

Whether an advertisement has the capacity or tendency to mislead or deceive is determined from the overall impression that the advertisement may be reasonably expected to create upon a person of average education or intelligence within the segment of the public to which it is directed.

Statements, promises and forecasts may not be fraudulent, misleading or untrue and, before any advertising is published, documentary evidence to support all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation must be held.

Documentary evidence, whether in the form of survey data or any other documentation, shall be up to date and current, and shall have market relevance.

Warnings, disclaimers and qualifications must not be inconsistent with other content in the advertisement and be sufficiently prominent.


Exaggeration and hyperbole gets people’s attention and makes advertising messages memorable. Because claims in puffery are obviously exaggerated, and because exaggeration works to get people’s attention, puffery is an accepted advertising technique.

No exaggerations in respect of the need for urgency which could encourage the average targeted client to make unduly hasty decisions may be included.

Advertisements that include puffery must be consistent with the provisions relating to puffery in the Code of Advertising Practice issued by the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa as amended from time to time.  Value judgments, matters of opinion or subjective assessments are permissible provided that:

  • it is clear what is being expressed is an opinion;
  • there is no likelihood of the opinion or the way it is expressed, misleading consumers about any aspect of a product or service which is capable of being objectively assessed in the light of generally accepted standards.

The guiding principle is that puffery is true when an expression of opinion, but false when viewed as an expression of fact.

Obvious untruths, harmless parody or exaggerations, intended to catch the eye or to amuse, are permissible provided that they are clearly to be seen as humorous or hyperbolic and are not likely to be understood as making literal claims for the advertised product.


Where any current awards are included, the advertisement must clearly state the name of the award and/or logo, source and date of the award as well as the fact that full details and the basis of the award are available from the business.

Historical awards may be advertised provided these awards are not the focus of the advertisement. The name of the award and/or logo, plus the date of the award must be disclosed as well as the fact that full details and the basis of the award are available from the business.

Any award may only be advertised once it has been formally awarded to the business. In respect of any awards or rankings, the identity of the grantor of an award must be noted and it must be clear if the award is granted by an associate of the provider or product supplier.


Advertisements should not contain or refer to any testimonial or endorsement unless these are genuine and related to the personal experience over a reasonable period of the person giving it. Testimonials must be attributed to the person giving it, however pseudonyms may be provided, if this is clearly stated in the advertisement.

Testimonials from persons resident outside South Africa are not acceptable unless their address and/or country of residence are given to the Advertising Standards Authority or the medium involved, which may decide whether such details must be used in the advertisement.

Testimonials or endorsements which are obsolete or otherwise no longer applicable (eg where there has been a significant change in formulation of the product concerned) should not be used.

Where informed opinion is claimed in support of a product, such opinion must be substantiated by independent evidence.

If the person making the testimonial or endorsement, or their employer or principal or any associate, has any financial interest or relationship to the business, product supplier (where the advert relates to a financial product) or any associate or person acting on behalf of the business or product provider this must be disclosed.

Where the person making the testimonial or endorsement is compensated for this, this must be disclosed. Any endorsement in a FAIS advertisement must clearly and prominently state that the endorsement does not constitute financial advice.

Copies of any testimonials used in advertising,  signed and dated by the persons providing the testimonials and confirming what is said in any advertisement, must be kept on record for 5 years.


If performance data is provided, a reference to their source and date must be included.


An advertisement that references a loyalty benefit (including so-called cash- or premium back bonuses in relation to insurance policies) or no-claim bonus must not create the impression that this is free and must clearly indicate:

  1. whether the loyalty benefit or no-claim bonus is optional or not; and
  2. the cost of the benefit or bonus including, where applicable, the impact that such cost has on any premium or investment amount, unless the impact is negligible (the impact is deemed to be negligible if the cost of the loyalty benefit or no-claim bonus is less than 10% of the total premium or investment amount and
  3. identify the grantor of the benefit or bonus.

Where the impact of a loyalty benefit or no-claim bonus is not negligible and where the advertisement refers to the actual premium or investment amount payable the cost of the benefit or bonus must be shown as a percentage of that premium or investment amount and the premium or investment amount and benefit cost used in the advertisement must be able to be demonstrated to present a true reflection of the cost impact for the average targeted client

Where the impact of a loyalty benefit or no-claim bonus is not negligible and where the advertisement does not refer to the actual premium or investment amount payable, the average cost of the benefit or bonus as a percentage of premium or investment amount must be provided.

Where an advertisement highlights a loyalty benefit or no-claims bonus as a significant feature of a financial product or financial service and makes reference to a projected loyalty benefit value or no-claim bonus value that is payable on the expiry of a period in the future, it must also express the value of the projected benefit or bonus in present value terms, using reasonable assumptions about inflation.

An advertisement must clearly state whether the availability or extent of a loyalty benefit or no-claims bonus is contingent on future actions of the client or any factors not within the client’s control.

Advertisements may not create the impression that the bonus or benefit is guaranteed or more likely to materialise than what is reasonably expected for the average targeted client.


 Products or services offered without cost or obligation on the part of the consumer or business may be described as “free”. Products or services may not be described as “free” where there is any cost to the consumer, other than the actual cost of any delivery, freight or postage. Where such costs are payable by the consumer, a clear statement that this is the case should be made in the advertisement.

Where a claim is made that, if one product is purchased, another product will be provided “free”, we must be able to show that we will not be able immediately and directly to recover the full or part of the cost of supplying the “free” product.


 An advertisement relating to a financial service must:

  1. disclose any relevant limitations on the extent of the financial service and the range of financial products on which the financial service is based
  2. not create a misleading impression about the nature and extent of skills experience, knowledge and expertise in respect of the financial service and
  3. may not create a misleading impression about the cost of a financial service including that it is ‘free’ if the service is in fact paid for by the client directly or indirectly through other costs or charges.


 An advertisement relating to a financial product or financial service must clearly and prominently identify the product supplier or provider or both.

An advertisement must not use a group or parent company name or the name of any other associate of a product supplier or the business to create the impression that any entity other than the product supplier or business is financially or otherwise liable in relation to a financial product or financial service.

An advertisement must not use the name of another person to mislead or deceive as to the true identity of the business or product supplier or to create the impression that any person other than the provider or product supplier is financially or otherwise liable in relation to a financial product or financial service.


An advertisement relating to a financial product that is subject to a white labelling arrangement must clearly and prominently identify the product supplier.

Advertisements relating to financial products subject to a white labelling arrangement must note the name of the product supplier as frequently mentioned, as audible or as visible as that of the white label and, in respect of written media, must be at least the same font size as that of the white label, unless the white label arrangement is with a product supplier that is part of the same group of companies that the provider is part of  the advertisement uses the brand of the product supplier.


 All advertisements should conform to the principles of fair competition in business. Advertisements should not attack, discredit or disparage other products, services, advertisers or advertisements directly or indirectly, or make inaccurate, unfair or unsubstantiated criticisms about any financial product, financial service, product supplier or provider

 Advertisements may not compare different financial products, product suppliers, financial services providers or representatives unless the differing characteristics of each are made clear. Where an advertisement includes comparisons, the information used must be current, complete and accurate

Financial products or  services being compared must have the same or similar characteristics, and the comparison must take account of comparable features across the financial product, financial service or related service offerings included in the sample to ensure that not only the price (e.g. the Rand value of premiums or investments) is being compared, but also the benefits

Where insurance policies are being compared, price comparisons must be based on policies with equivalent terms and conditions, including insured events, cover levels, exclusions, waiting periods and other key features

No advertisement may focus on the price of a financial product, financial service or related service to the exclusion of the suitability of the financial product, financial service or related services or its delivery on client expectations

Where a survey or other financial product or financial service comparison is included, this must be undertaken by an independent person or, if it is not reasonably practicable that it is undertaken by an independent person, the advertisement must note this.  Surveys or comparisons must be conducted at regular intervals if relied on or referenced on an on-going basis. The survey or other comparison source and date thereof must be referenced in the advertisement and the methodology applied must be publicly available and readily accessible to the public in an easily understandable format.

Comparisons highlighting a weakness in an industry or product may only be published when the information is factual and in the public interest


Where illustrations, forecasts or hypothetical data is provided, the following criteria must be met:

The illustrations, forecasts or hypothetical data must be supported in the form of clearly stated basic assumptions. This includes (but is not limited to) assumptions in respect of performance, returns, costs and charges. There must be a reasonable prospect that the forecasts / illustrations / hypothetical data can be met under current circumstances

Provide a statement that the forecasts / illustrations / hypothetical data are not guaranteed and are provided for illustrative purposes only;

Where returns or benefits are dependent on the performance of underlying assets or other variable market factors, this must be made clear

Where amounts, sums, values, charges, fees, remuneration or monetary obligations are included in any advertisements, these must be reflected in specific monetary terms. Where an amount is not reasonably pre-determinable, the basis of its calculation must be properly described

No projected benefits (including but not limited to future investment values and, in the case of insurance policies, maturity, income, death, disability or full or partial surrender benefits) may be included in advertisements, if the benefits depend on future unknown investment performance, unless used to demonstrate the benefits of savings generally.

Any reference to projected benefits, investment performance or returns must clearly reflect the effect that fees and costs may have on actual returns or benefits.

When past investment performance is provided for or referred to in an advertisement all information must be accurate and must be provided in the correct context, and the provider must be able to substantiate all claims made; and a statement must be included that past performance cannot be extrapolated into the future and is not an indication of future performance.

If tax advantages are referenced in an advertisement, these advantages must be explained, and any key restrictions, penalties, and mitigating circumstances must be disclosed.

Where a financial product comprises participatory interests in an underlying collective investment scheme or where a financial product provides for investment of client’s funds into collective investment scheme portfolios, an advertisement must comply with any determination of advertising and marketing requirements for collective investment schemes.


Where the investment value of a financial product mentioned in the advertisement is not guaranteed, the marketing material must contain a warning that no guarantees are provided.  An advertisement should not contain words or phrases that may give investors the impression that they cannot lose money or that profits are guaranteed, unless such profits actually are guaranteed. Any such guarantee, including costs, must be clearly defined

Any reference to guaranteed elements or features must indicate whether the guarantee is subject to any requirements and conditions and where disclosure of those requirements and conditions can be found.


Where reference is made to premiums or other periodic investment amounts and where the premium or periodic investment amount will escalate automatically, the escalation rate or basis must be included.

Where an insurance policy premium is not guaranteed for the full term of the financial product but is subject to review after a period, the period for which the premium is guaranteed must be noted.


Where a financial service or product is advertised by means of a public radio service, the advertisement must include the business name and note the financial services provider authorisation.