By advertising on children's tv, payday lenders are increasing the pressure on families already struggling with unmanageable debt. This unethical practice must be stopped. Hard-hit families with children are struggling with the rising costs of living and many end up borrowing money from payday lenders to make ends meet.
It is no surprise then that the last three years have seen an increase in payday lenders advertising on TV. This advertising has also increased during times when children are likely to be watching – both on children’s channels and during programmes with a large young audience.
OFCOM’s own research found that there were 17,000 payday loan adverts shown on TV in 2008. This reached 397,000 in 2012: an increase of 2300% in just four years. They also found that, in 2012, children aged 4-15 saw an average of 70 adverts for payday lenders during the year.
The Children’s Society offer debt advice and support to families in financial difficulty. Some of these families rely on high-cost credit to cover the basics, and are then faced with huge interest repayments that reduce the money left over for essentials like heating or food.
Aiming these adverts at children will make payday lending seem normal. It will make the next generation feel more comfortable with high-cost credit.
We know that the stress of debt on parents is often passed on to their children. Children should not be bombarded with advertising for payday loans, especially as this may lead to them pressuring their parents into taking out these loans, which are shown as being fun and easy. Ask OFCOM to put stronger measures in place to limit this – in the same way that rules apply to advertising junk food.
By making children think it’s easy for their parents to get access to cash, the adverts are encouraging children to use ‘pester power’ on their parents to take out high levels of debt. It’s exploiting children to reach parents, and this manipulative tactic must be stopped.
Call on OFCOM to ban payday lenders advertising on all programmes aimed at children.