Leveraged Financial Products and Contracts to Gain Exposure to Forex, Stock Market Indices and Commodity Prices Code

Leveraged Financial Products and Contracts to Gain Exposure to Forex, Stock Market Indices and Commodity Prices Code


The ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) Code of Advertising and Commercial Communications contains general provisions recognised by all professionals: article 1 – Basic principles, article 4 – Honesty and article 5 – Truthfulness

Before any advertisement is disseminated, it is advisable to ensure, depending on the financial product(s) being promoted, that:

  • The financial investment products and services are offered by players on the list of players authorised to carry out banking, financial, electronic money and payment services activities in Europe, available on the REGAFI website (https://www.regafi.fr/spip.php?rubrique1).
  • The products do not fall within the scope of the advertising ban set out in article L. 533-12-7 of the French Monetary and Financial Code.

In addition, the blacklists of the AMF (Autorité des marchés financiers) should be consulted, which list unauthorised players and sites that may offer products prohibited in France, such as binary options [1] .

The purpose of this Recommendation is to set out the rules that advertising professionals (advertisers, agencies, the media, advertising sales houses and media, and corresponding members such as professional organisations) have chosen to adopt to ensure that advertising for certain financial products and contracts, as defined below, as well as advertising for related services, includes a concern for social responsibility.

To this end, professionals undertake to communicate in a responsible manner, by developing and distributing advertising that reconciles free advertising expression and the protection of the public, in particular vulnerable members of the public or those lacking information when faced with complex products.

In addition to the legislative and regulatory texts applicable to the products or services referred to below and all the rules contained in the ARPP Recommendations, professionals undertake to comply with the following ethical rules. In particular, they are reminded that :

The provisions of the ARPP Recommendation on Sustainable Development apply.

The provisions of the ARPP Recommendation on Digital Advertising Communication apply, as do the various practical sheets, particularly the one relating to communication by influencers and brands.

Scope of application

This Recommendation applies to advertisements for financial products and contracts that provide exposure to changes in a stock market index, currency, share or commodity price (via contracts for difference, known as CFDs) and which may offer the possibility of significant leverage, as a result of which the financial loss may be greater than the sum initially invested by the individual (FOREX trading, etc.), whether or not this leverage is expressed in the body of the advertisement.

This applies exclusively to advertisements that promote these products or contracts to consumers, as well as related services, regardless of their form or format, and which do not fall within the scope of the ban on advertising set out in article L. 533-12-7 of the French Monetary and Financial Code [2] , which also applies to influencing sales [3] .

For contracts involving CFDs, only leveraged financial contracts involving CFDs with intrinsic protection are authorised, from the time the contract is entered into until its maturity, bearing in mind that the investor’s maximum loss may not exceed the amount initially invested. [4]

Communications for the application of this Recommendation are also covered:

  • presenting offers of training or advice for the products covered by this Recommendation,
  • including a link to an Internet page offering these financial contracts, directing the user to a contact form, allowing the downloading of an application, or any other type of tool designed to put the client in contact with an investment services provider offering this type of contract.


1. Identification

1.1 Identification of advertising

Advertising must be clearly and immediately distinguishable as such, regardless of the form and medium used.

When an advertisement is broadcast in media that also include news or editorial articles, it must be presented in such a way that its advertising nature is instantly apparent.

1.2 Identification of the advertiser and guarantor

The advertiser behind the advertisement must be clearly identified or identifiable by any means appropriate to the medium concerned.

Where the format, technique or advertising medium does not allow this information to be included in the advertisement itself, it will be made directly accessible by any means.

Advertising must enable the consumer to ascertain, directly or indirectly, that the advertiser is authorised to offer the type of product or service being advertised.

The French regulator may only be cited in advertising if permitted by and in compliance with the regulations in force. This quotation must not be presented in an abusive or misleading manner and must not give the impression of approval or endorsement.

1.3 Identification of the nature of the product or service being advertised.

The nature of the product or service may be identified by any means. The terms used to designate the nature of the product or service must not be misleading or create confusion with other financial products or services.

In all cases, this identification of the nature of the product or service must comply with the rules of positive law, which provide for the use of precise and/or specific terms.

2. Clarity, fairness and truthfulness of advertising

Advertising falling within the scope of this Recommendation must comply with the principles of clarity, fairness and truthfulness and, in particular, must not denigrate other sectors, products or services, whether regulated or not.

2.1 Balance of advertising

All advertising must be balanced between, on the one hand, the presentation of the performance (gains, returns, including in visual or graphic form) of the product or service and, on the other hand, the risks inherent in subscribing to it.

This balance in advertising, recommended by various European regulators, means that all advertising, whatever the medium used, must contain clear, intelligible and perfectly legible and/or audible information on the risks specific to the activity or product(s) in question. The level of risk may vary and may result in a loss greater than the investment.

When the presentation of these risks is expressed in writing, it must be distinguished by any means from other information (and, in particular, must not be placed next to other information), unless this is technically impossible due to the format. Orally, an audible statement must be clearly distinguishable from all other information.

In all cases, advertising must not give the impression that the consumer is not taking any risk and/or that his risk is limited.

In the case of CFDs with intrinsic protection where the loss of capital cannot exceed the investment, the percentage of retail investor accounts that have lost money when trading with the provider must, in addition, be explicitly stated. [5]

2.2 Promise of results

Returns/gains (in absolute terms or as a percentage in particular) must not be presented as systematically achievable, easily acquired or as recurring, thereby concealing the risk factor.

Advertising must not imply that the training offered will enable consumers to acquire the same market expertise as professionals in these sectors.

Finally, advertising must not imply that the skills, experience or training provided to consumers will enable them to eliminate market hazards.


1. Social responsibility

“All commercial communications must be designed with a proper sense of social and professional responsibility” Art.1 of the International Chamber of Commerce Code relating to advertising and commercial communications.

Thus, advertising for products or services falling within the scope of application must not, whether in writing, audio or visual form :

  • minimise the commitments and risks of using these products by means of training, demonstration accounts or the granting of a “bonus” on registration or the opening of a real account, but instead raise awareness by means of clear communication:
  • presenting the use of these products or services as gambling, or drawing an analogy between gambling and the products or services covered by this Recommendation;
  • confer social superiority on those who use these products or services;
  • promoting, trivialising or encouraging excessive use of these products or services, which may put the consumer in a difficult financial situation;
  • Suggest that using these products or services will enable the consumer to earn a regular income or solve temporary or permanent financial problems;
  • give the impression of wealth, abundance, disproportionate gains or returns, the possibility of making a fortune or becoming rich without work or effort.

Advertising must not denigrate savings products with regulated interest rates or lower-risk products.

2. Protection of minors

Advertising for this type of product or service must not be aimed at minors, given their legal incapacity to access or subscribe to it.

It may not use visual or written elements that make it specifically attractive to minors.

The direct or suggested representation of minors in a training situation or using these products or services, even if they are accompanied by adult(s), or giving evidence about these products, is excluded.

July 2023


Cf. Article L533-12-7 of the Monetary and Financial Code, which states that "Investment service providers may not send, directly or indirectly, by electronic means, promotional communications to clients who are likely to be non-professional, in particular potential clients, relating to the provision of investment services concerning financial contracts that are not admitted to trading on a regulated market or a multilateral trading facility, falling within one of the categories of contracts defined by the General Regulation of the Autorité des marchés financiers and presenting one of the following characteristics: 1° The maximum risk is not known at the time of subscription; 2° The risk of loss is greater than the amount of the initial financial contribution; 3° The risk of loss in relation to the corresponding potential benefits is not reasonably comprehensible in view of the particular nature of the financial contract proposed. This article does not apply to information published on their website by investment services providers marketing the financial contracts mentioned in the first paragraph."


See AMF Position DOC-2017-01 Questions and Answers – Prohibition on professional communications relating to the provision of investment services concerning certain financial contracts, created on 10 January 2017 and amended on 29 August 2018 and 3 May 2021. In particular, it states that "the investment services provider must be able to demonstrate to the AMF the existence of this protection intrinsic to the contract by sending it, if necessary, a certificate from a leading French or European consultancy."


AMF Position DOC-2017-01-Questions réponses-interdiction des communications à caractère professionnel relatives à la fourniture de services d’investissement portant sur certains contrats financiers, created on 10 January 2017 amended on 29 August 2018 and 3 May 2021.