Payday loan advertising has attracted concern across society, including Government, media, consumer protection bodies and the public as the use of short-term, high-cost credit increased during the economic downturn. That’s why regulators, consumer bodies and industry have been working to drive up standards in the sector.
In June, BCAP, the body responsible for writing the Broadcast Advertising Code, announced a review into how the advertising rules are being applied to payday loan advertising appearing on TV to ensure that young people, in particular, continue to be protected. The outcome of this review will be communicated this autumn.
We’ve already acted robustly against payday loan advertisers found in breach of the advertising rules, banning 24 ads since April 2013. We’ve taken action where, for example, ads trivialised the decision to take out a loan or encouraged the use of payday loans for non-essential items.
The protection of young people is at the heart of the rules; they already prohibit payday loan ads from encouraging under-18s to either take out a loan or pester others to do so for them. The rules also require that ads must be socially responsible, which we can apply to any ad that appears to target children directly.
We remain committed to ensuring that the right levels of protection are in place for consumers and vulnerable groups, so that ads are appropriate and don’t cause harm. We’ll report on the outcome of the BCAP review shortly.
Key ASA rulings involving payday lenders: