Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for advertising your mortgage business
When a brokerage is developing policies and procedures that ensure its public relations materials are compliant, it may wish to include some of the following advertising tips from the Competition Bureau of Canada.
- Do avoid fine print disclaimers. They often fail to change the general impression conveyed by
an advertisement. If you do use them, make sure the overall impression created by the ad and the disclaimer is not misleading.
- Do fully and clearly disclose all material information in the advertisement.
- Do avoid using terms or phrases in an advertisement that are not meaningful and clear to the ordinary person.
- Do, when conducting a contest, disclose all material details.
- Do ensure that your sales force is familiar with these “Dos and Don’ts.” Advertisers may be held responsible for representations made by employees.
- Don’t confuse “regular price” or “ordinary price” with “manufacturer’s suggested list price” or a like term. They are often not the same.
- Don’t use “regular price” in an advertisement unless the product has been offered in good faith for sale at that price for a substantial period of time, or a substantial volume of the product has been sold at that price within a reasonable period of time.
- Don’t use the words “sale” or “special” in relation to the price of a product unless a significant price reduction has occurred.
- Don’t run a “sale” for a long period or repeat it every week.
- Don’t increase the price of a product or service to cover the cost of a free product or service.
- Don’t make a performance claim unless you can prove it, even if you think it is accurate. Testimonials usually do not amount to adequate proof.
- Don’t sell a product above your advertised price.
- Don’t unduly delay the distribution of prizes when conducting a contest.
- Don’t forget that no one actually needs to be misled for a court to find that an advertisement is misleading.
Mortgage brokering in Ontario is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and requires a license. To obtain a license you must first pass an accredited course. The Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC) is accredited by FSCO to provide the course. For more information please visit us at www.remic.ca/getlicensed or call us at 877-447-3642
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