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Three more payday loan adverts banned following Citizens Advice complaint

Three payday loan adverts have been banned today by the Advertising Standards Authority following a complaint made by Citizens Advice earlier this year.

The adverts from Peachy, Loan Monarch and Spends4u cannot be shown again in their original form because they were deemed either misleading or irresponsible.

Four out of the seven payday loan adverts Citizens Advice reported to the ASA in March 2014 have now been banned.  Just last week the ASA upheld a complaint from Citizens Advice about an advert by Pounds to Pocket.  

Earlier this month payday lender Wonga said it would no longer use puppets in its advertising.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“These payday loan adverts mask the grim reality of debt.  Taking out a short-term, high-cost loan should not be taken lightly.  But all too often adverts present them as an easy option and suggest people’s financial circumstances don’t matter.  This is utterly irresponsible and misleading.  

“With four payday loan adverts banned within a fortnight, it is clear the payday loan industry needs to up its game when it comes to the quality of its advertising.  Lenders should look again at their marketing materials to see if they are fair and responsible.

“The success of our complaint demonstrates that consumers can fight back against inappropriate adverts.  If you believe a payday loan advert to irresponsible or misleading you can report it to Citizens Advice or the ASA directly.”

The ASA agreed with Citizens Advice that:

  • The Peachy.co.uk sandwich wrapper which says ‘cheaper than payday loan’ is misleading; and the phrase ‘small bits puts a smile on your lips’ and the cartoon image are irresponsible.
  • A text message from loan-monarch.co.uk is irresponsible because it encourages customers who had been refused loans elsewhere, due to their financial circumstances, to take out a loan.
  • A text message from spends4u.co.uk ad is irresponsible, because it encourages consumers to take out a loan, regardless of their financial circumstances.  It was also ruled the ad is misleading because it implies consumers can be accepted for a loan, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors:

  1. This year the Citizens Advice service celebrates its 75th anniversary. We’ve planned a year of activity running from January to December 2014. Contact the press office on 03000 231 080, or via email at press.office@citizensadvice.org.uk, to find out more.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.
Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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