Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Payday loan advert ban consultation

A ban on payday loan adverts placed around children's programmes is being considered by the advertising industry's watchdog body for standards.

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, known as BCAP, has launched a consultation on "whether it is proportionate and necessary to introduce scheduling restrictions on the television advertising of high-cost short-term credit".

Under consideration is a ban along the lines of the one on gambling adverts, which only allows them before the 9pm watershed if they are around sport programmes and is designed to protect those under the age of 18.

An alternative would be to stop adverts around programmes likely to appeal to under-16s, bringing regulations in line with those for food high in fat, salt or sugar.

The other option open to BCAP would be to do nothing at all and rely on its basic rules that adverts must be socially responsible and not cause harm.

It says it has found little robust evidence of advertising-related harm so far, but it wants to consider all relevant information in relation to a restriction.

Payday lenders say that their TV advertising has shrunk considerably since its peak more than two years ago and that they have jettisoned the cartoons and jingles which were criticised for appealing to children.

Wonga relaunched its TV campaign earlier this year, after abandoning adverts featuring elderly puppets, nicknamed the Wongies, which had come under fire.

It said it would not show its new ads on children's TV, or on channels or programmes with a large audience among younger people.

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