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Free Credit Report Rule To Apply For TV, Radio

By Faye Mergel
Published: Friday, April 23rd, 2010

KABLRM-00006381-001New FTC regulations require a website offering “free credit reports” to display a disclaimer on their websites. The ads are required to remind customers that they are permitted to request one free credit report per credit bureau per year as per federal law; they are also required to provide a link to AnnualCreditReport.com. The Federal Trade Commission mandated this new regulation to illuminate ambiguous ads posted by companies which promise a free credit report, but actually include credit monitoring and credit protection services to the customer at a premium price. 

This pretty much covers ads on the internet, but what about those ads you see on the television, and hear on the radio? The Federal Trade Commission has given the companies a period until the 1st of September to implement the addition of a similar disclaimer in all their television and radio advertisements. Post September advertisements on Television and on the Radio must bear the following disclosure: “This is not the free credit report provided for by Federal law.” The FTC released a statement saying that the new regulation is analogous to “Federal Election Commission requirements for the disclosure of the funding source of a political advertisement on television.” 

The requirements are as follows: 

Television ads 

All ads on TV must contain the flowing line in close proximity to the first mention of a free credit report: ‘‘This is not the free credit report provided for by Federal law.” There are also regulations that state that the disclaimer must appear at the same time in the audio and visual component of the advertisement. The visual disclosure must be at least four percent of the vertical height of the picture and must stay on the screen for a minimum of four seconds. 

Radio ads

 All ads on the radio must contain the flowing line in close proximity to the first mention of a free credit report: ‘‘This is not the free credit report provided for by Federal law.” 

Print ads 

All ads in print must contain the flowing line in close proximity to the first mention of a free credit report: “THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW’’. Immediately after this disclaimer, the print advertisement must contain the line: ‘‘You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.’’ Each letter should be one half size of the largest character used in the advertisement. 

Internet 

All ads on websites that offer free credit reports must include the following disclosure on the top of the page: “NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Read more at FTC.GOV. You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.” The FTC link must point to http://ftc.gov/freereports

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