Call to ban 'speed reading' of terms in adverts

The Government must ban advertisers ’speed-reading’ the terms and conditions of products or services, an Oireachtas committee said today.

The all-party body on Enterprise, Trade & Employment also called on Minister Mary Coughlan to super-size small print in all documents aimed at consumers.

Committee chairman Willie Penrose also wants TV advertisers to stop flashing up the terms and conditions too quickly on TV screens.

Dublin radio station Q102 began campaigning on these issues after complaints from listeners and executives and presenters addressed a meeting of the committee last week.

Mr Penrose said today: “We are requesting Minister Mary Coughlan to bring forward necessary legislation, primary or secondary, which would prohibit the use of small print in contracts and the use of other user-unfriendly practices such as speed-reading of the terms and conditions on radio and TV advertisement.”

Q102 made a presentation to the committee about the campaign last week.

The station wants to stop consumers getting trapped into agreements through the use of obscure and unwelcome terms and conditions.

The campaign wants terms and conditions on all contracts to be no smaller than size 10 font compared with the size six font which is widely in use.

The station called for the information to be written in plain English which is easily understood by all.

The campaign is supported by the Association of Optometrists of Ireland, the Consumer Association of Ireland, the Small Firms Association and the Dublin City Centre Business Association.


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