In late 2015, BCAP announced a consultation on scheduling restrictions for high-cost short-term credit (HCSTC or payday loans) advertising. This followed a call for evidence on scheduling restrictions, after BCAP reviewed its rules governing the content of HCSTC ads. BCAP’s call for evidence found little robust evidence of advertising-related harm. However, information received allowed BCAP to identify issues relating to the potential effect of HCSTC advertising. 

BCAP’s consultation document set out: 

  • BCAP’s existing restrictions on HCSTC ads
  • BCAP’s policy objectives
  • The legal framework in which BCAP operates
  • BCAP’s rationale for scheduling restrictions
  • The reasons why BCAP had not introduced scheduling restrictions on HCSTC ads
  • An economic impact assessment of the potential effect of scheduling restrictions
  • Options for change (status quo, under-18s restrictions and under-16s restrictions)
Respondents were invited to tell BCAP which options were necessary and proportionate. 

BCAP considered that it had not seen evidence scheduling restrictions on HCSTC ads were necessary and proportionate. Consequently, the introduction of scheduling restrictions would not meet BCAP’s regulatory objectives. BCAP used its principles on evidence-based policy to assess the evidence provided to it.  

BCAP’s original content review examined ASA rulings and content treatments from a sample of ads. On the advice of the Advertising Advisory Committee (AAC), BCAP will carry out a further content review, which will gather evidence on borrowing. The review will assess whether BCAP’s content rules remain fit for purpose in light of this examination.

Supporting documents:

  BCAP Payday Loans individual responses.pdf  
  BCAP payday loans consultation evalution of responses.pdf  
  BCAP Payday loans consultation.pdf  
  BCAP Payday loans consultation terms of reference.pdf

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