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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

California imposes CLRA advertising requirements

State Issues State Legislation California Advertisement DFPI Consumers Legal Remedies Act

State Issues

Covered entities in California are reminded that Section 1770 of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act requires persons offering or providing a consumer financial service or product to include certain language when making solicitations. As previously covered by InfoBytes, AB 1904 was enacted last year to amend Section 1770 of the Civil Code relating to unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts. The amended code prohibits a covered person or a service provider from engaging in unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices regarding a consumer financial product or service, such as: (i) misrepresenting the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification; (ii) advertising goods or services with the intent not to sell them as advertised; and (iii) making false or misleading statements of fact concerning reasons for, the existence of, or amounts of, price reductions. The amendments authorize the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to bring a civil action for a violation of the law, and make unlawful the failure to include certain information, including a prescribed disclosure, in a solicitation by a covered person, or an entity acting on behalf of a covered person, to a consumer for a consumer financial product or service. Specifically, Cal. Civ. Code § 1770(a)(28) requires covered persons to include the following language in solicitations:

  • “The name of the covered person, and, if applicable, the entity acting on behalf of the covered person, and relevant contact information, including a mailing address and telephone number.”
  • “The following disclosure statement in at least 18-point bold type and in the language in which the solicitation is drafted: ‘THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.’”

The requirements took effect at the beginning of the year.