ASIC KEEPS WATCHFUL EYE OVER DIRECT SALE ADVERTISING
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According to a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is keeping a watchful eye on the insurance industry and, the direct sales channel has been a particular focus of the regulator’s attention. According to The Herald’s Lesley Parker, that attention has been driven by the growth in direct sales and the accompanying growth in the quantity of insurance-related television advertising.
ASIC’s interest in direct sales may have been inspired by its recent study of funeral insurance. That study found that consumers were often inadequately informed about policy costs and benefits, especially given the public’s confusion about distinctions between prepaid funerals, funeral insurance and funeral bonds, all of which have been marketed simply as “funeral plans.” Over the past two years ASIC has caused advertisers to withdraw or revise approximately 120 ads because they were unclear or inaccurate.