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?