Payday Loan adverts on Kids TV. You’re kidding, right?

So we all hate Payday loans, right? As far as I’m concerned I’d have no problem with seeing these companies being put straight out of business with a new piece of legislation or something. When I see the adverts on television, I do wonder how they have managed to get away with airing them in a world that is so obviously getting wise to their evil ploys. Today though I learned that these Payday loan adverts aren’t just being shown to adults, they are even being shown on children’s television.

In fact, rather than being on the decline, the amount of Payday Loan adverts our children are being exposed to has grown drastically over the past 5 or 6 years. Figures released recently by the television regulator OFCOM are really quite shocking, so if these kind of things make you angry be sure to have a stress ball on hand.

The figures read something like this. In 2008 UK children between the ages of 4 and 15 were exposed to 3 million payday loan adverts. In 2012 – despite all of the recent outrage surrounding these loans – this figure had risen to a staggering 596 million, equivalent to almost 1% of all adverts seen by this age group. It is true that, of this number, only a very small percentage were aired on children’s channels, some 3% (or 2 adverts per child per year) but that is still 2 adverts too many in my eyes. How can we expect our kids to grow up thinking that payday loans are wrong and are to be avoided when they are appearing on the very channels that are supposed to be educating them about what is acceptable and what is not.

Will we see an end to the practice?

So are we likely to see an end to these adverts appearing on children’s television – or adult television for that matter – anytime soon? Apparently not.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is due to take on the role of regulating payday lenders on the 1st April 2014, said that any ban would need to be prescribed by law and comply with the Human Rights rules that safeguard freedom of expression. They also said that they would be concentrating more on controlling the content of these adverts, rather than banning them completely. The government have also said that Payday loan adverts are already the subject of strict regulation and no changes to this regulation are planned.

There’s no escape

So basically if you don’t want your kids to grow up thinking that payday loans are just a normal part of everyday life then it seems you are sadly only left with one choice, get rid of your television. Even then, unless you plan on never taking a walk down the high street or never turning on the radio, it would appear you have no chance of avoiding the bombardment. If you really want to be on the safe side then it might be wise to have a flick through the next Octonauts or Barbie magazine you buy for your child just to make sure there are no blatant adverts in there or even persuasive messages hidden in the speech bubbles. You may think I’m being a little over the top but if a Payday loan advert on children’s television is something that is being viewed as acceptable to regulators, then who knows where the madness will end or where else these adverts will start to pop up.

Have you seen any of these adverts and do you think they should be banned?

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8 Responses to Payday Loan adverts on Kids TV. You’re kidding, right?

  1. Kathy says:

    I’ve never seen payday loan ads that are directed to children and agree that this practice is bad. However, as a parent you still have the ultimate responsibility to teach your children that your family would not use this product and explain why they create a vicious cycle that is difficult to escape from.

    • Adam Buller says:

      Hi Kathy, I definitely agree that we have a responsibility to train our kids on the subject. The only problem is that the 2 adverts per child per year which are directly shown on children’s channels could quite easily be missed, if you were say cleaning in another room for example, in which case you might not get the opportunity to explain or realise they’ve even seen it. I suppose if this is the way that things are going to be then you’re right in saying that we need to make a concerted effort to discuss these matters with our children at an age that we feel appropriate. Personally I’d like to see no adverts of this kind shown before 9pm, or at all ideally.

  2. I fell victim to the payday loan trap once. It seems like such a great idea – cash in your hands in just a few minutes. It’s a great idea….until the bill comes due in two weeks. All of a sudden you realize you’re stuck because you pay it back, and then take out a new payday loan because without the money you just used to pay back the loan, you’ll be short again for the next pay period.

    Horrible, horrible financial product.

    I can’t believe they’d be allowed to market to kids…
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  3. These guys are sneaky advertising agencies using children’s shows to get the parents attention about money matters.I guess we will just have to spend more time with our children and teach them ourselves what money is all about. I wish they could show something like Retirement plans for dummies on a children’s show.
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  4. debT debS says:

    That is horrible! It’s hard enough trying to teach kids that money doesn’t grow out of the wall.

    I was so disconcerted when I noticed that there are 3 money advancers within a block of each other in my neighbourhood, CashMoney, Cash Store and Cash 4 You as well as a Money Mart a few blocks down on the same street. We are talking about a middle class bedroom community suburb. What the hey?
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    • Adam Buller says:

      It’s quite scary isn’t it! The saddest thing is that they must be taking advantage of a lot of people to even still be in business. I really feel that the regulation over these companies should be much more strict.

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