The requirement to include the representative APR was triggered by the FCA's CONC handbook rule (CONC3.5.7R(1)) to the effect that a financial promotion must include a representative APR if it states or implies that credit is available to individuals who might otherwise consider their access to credit restricted. Further, CONC3.5.7R(2) goes on to require that the representative APR must be given no less prominence than any of the matters that trigger its inclusion in the ad.
The TV ad in question triggered these rule, and indeed the ad had disclosed the representative APR in small print at the bottom of the screen throughout.
However, the ASA found that the ad "voice-over" gave greater emphasis on how consumers could benefit from the Vanquis credit card, including references to how "useful", "handy" and "helpful" the credit card could be. These benefits were also spelt out using visual effects and shown in a larger font in the centre of the screen. In contrast the representative APR was not included in the voice over. Although the representative APR in the on-screen text was legible and continuously shown at the bottom of the advertisement during the entire broadcast, that was not considered by the ASA to make it sufficiently prominent.
The ASA therefore concluded that, on this issue, the ad breached rules 3.1 (misleading advertising), 3.11 (qualification) and 14.11 (financial products, services and investments) of the BCAP code.