Claims and images on www.100pounds.co.uk, a website for a short-term loan provider.
Claims stated "Loan 100 Pounds. Period 10 Days. Loan fee. 15 pounds. Repayment 115 Pounds. Transfer guaranteed within a few minutes!". Underneath, claims stated "JUST SIGN UP ONE. The signup process is really easy and will take you only a few minutes to complete. APPLY FOR A LOAN. Need money quickly? Just log in and let us know". Immediately beneath that text, it featured an image of a couple, where the woman was looking pensive and with a shopping bag over her shoulder. Next to that, text stated "£100 ISSUED IN FEW MINUTES [sic]". Immediately beneath, it showed another couple smiling and the woman was carrying a number of shopping bags.
At the bottom of the web page, claims stated "Representative APR 16,831%. Representative example: Amount of credit £100 for 10 days. Total amount repayable £115. Interest £10.00. Interest rate 365% fixed. Transfer & credit check fee £5.00. Representative 16,831% APR".
The complainant challenged whether the claims and images of shopping bags were irresponsible because they trivialised the decision to take out a loan and encouraged irresponsible spending.
Sunny Marketing said they would change the images on the web page.
The ASA noted the website was for a short-term loan provider and clearly set out the cost to the consumer in taking out a loan of £100. However, it also included an image of a woman carrying a number of shopping bags directly above the claim that consumers would receive their money within a few minutes. We noted there was no context to the images to explain why she may have needed the money. We considered the image suggested the woman obtained a high interest, short-term loan quickly and she had spent that borrowed money to go on a shopping trip to make non-essential purchases. While we understood that some consumers may need to borrow money quickly and on a short-term basis, we considered the website's depiction of using a high interest, short-term credit to fund such a shopping trip was likely to be seen as encouraging frivolous spending of that borrowed money. We therefore concluded the ad was irresponsible.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Social responsibility).
The image must no longer appear. We told Sunny Marketing to ensure they advertised their products in a responsible manner in future.