A Dorset-based law firm has been castigated by the Advertising Standard Agency for misleading adverts with the communications banned by the regulator.

The firm, TMS Legal, promoted two adverts which claimed clients had successfully claimed thousands in compensation relating to car financing.

However, the regulator found the advert testimonials were provided by paid actors and were not genuine case studies of successful legal claims.

The firm specialises in mis-selling claims related to packaged bank accounts, according to the report in The Law Society Gazette. The firm removed the offending adverts and apologised, citing internal oversight for the failure.

The company had already been fined £45,000 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for client due diligence failures and making inaccurate claims.

How to get financial promotions right

While mis-selling cases might not be your day-to-day bread and butter, it is essential to get any kind of financial promotions right.

Financial services is (rightly) extremely carefully regulated. The rules around promotions are highly specific and compliance is a central function within financial firms in order to ensure they are not falling foul of the rules.

The scrutiny of financial promotions has also heightened considerably for social media in recent years, particularly in relation to so-called ‘finfluencers’ or financial influencers – a growing area of financial promotions in advertising.

Working with finfluencers can be an effective strategy for a firm looking to promote its services, but again it needs to be fully compliant and carefully managed to ensure potential customers are not misled.

Social media guidance is in the process of being revamped by the financial regulator too, underlining the fact that the framework for promotions is ever-changing, making keeping up with the latest developments even more essential.

The adverts in question were placed on TikTok by the firm – a growing social media platform that is coming under increasing scrutiny from regulators as the quality and content of advertising explodes.

Compliance puzzle

 Promotions should be transparent and ensure truthful representations of case studies and results no matter the platform. While financial promotions are often useful ways to generate new business leads, they should not be taken lightly in their creation.

Legal firms looking to promote their services in the financial space would be best served by working with a professional financial partner in order to ensure full compliance and a successful campaign is possible.

Compliance is a tricky thing to get right, even for firms well-versed in the law. However, financial firms such as advice businesses are adept at following the carefully laid regulatory frameworks in place to protect both businesses and consumers.

Partnering with a financial advice firm to promote your financial-related services is a great way to ensure that promotions are fully compliant from the get-go.

Advice businesses take compliance as second nature and are extremely well-positioned to ensure campaigns are thoroughly vetted and maximise the potential to attract new business in the most compliant manner possible.

Partnering with an advice firm will open up a range of potential service possibilities too and increase the likelihood that a client will adopt more services for their legal and financial needs.