Financial Protection Act Could Affect Advertisers

Although the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act (H.R. 3126) is being viewed as largely a bank reform act, some of its provisions trickle into the work-a-day world of marketing in all industries. The proposed CFPA legislation, which handily cleared the House Financial Services Committee by a 39-29 vote, seems to be on a smooth track for adoption by the House; the bill’s fate in the Senate is less clear.

The proposed law would create a new agency that would have wide powers, including ones that affect operations of the Federal Trade Commission, contends the Association of National Advertisers. Others foresee the law, if adopted, as making the FTC Chairman a veritable “Internet czar,” when it comes to online advertising. The bill would allow the FTC to pursue civil actions without prior review by the Justice Department and would let the FTC impose civil penalties on advertising claims (initially in the finance and mortgage categories).

The Senate is just starting to design a companion draft for the House bill.

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