Three payday loan adverts have been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency for being misleading or irresponsible.
An advert for Peachy, which was printed on sandwich wrappers, claimed its loans were ‘cheaper than payday loans’, while another ad displayed a cartoon mouth with the phrase ‘small bites put a smile on your lips’.
The ASA had a problem with the first advert as Peachy failed to back up the claim that their loans are cheaper than other short-term lenders, while with the latter example it was deemed that Peachy encouraged a casual attitude towards taking out loans.
Other payday lenders who fell victim to the ASA’s wrath were Loan Monarch and Spends4u who both sent questionable campaigns in the form of text messages.
Citizens Advice complained about the three ads in March alongside the Pounds to Pockets campaign which encouraged consumers to pay for birthday celebrations with a loan. That was banned last week.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, 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 Loan Monarch advert was pulled for encouraging customers to take out loans after being refused elsewhere.
Similarly the ASA ruled that Spends4u encouraged customers to take out loans regardless of their financial situation, suggesting they would be accepted even if they were in a financial mess.
Four out of seven payday adverts that Citizens Advice reported to the ASA earlier in the year have now been banned.