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Are Glamorous Adverts Influencing Children to Ask Parents for Payday Loans?

New quirky payday loan adverts are being labelled as irresponsible by parents and consumer rights activists who say they muddle the message with their cartoon characters.

Too Much exposure to Payday Loans at an Early Age?

Given the fact that most payday loan adverts are shown during the daytime, it comes as no surprise that the adverts (often accompanied by cartoons and catchy jingles) are watched by a lot of children. A research report published in December 2013, revealed that British children watching payday loans adverts have sky rocketed by almost 20,000 percent in the past four years.

The adverts which are frequently broadcast has led to children believing that one can avail of payday loans whenever you are unable to afford something. According to data from one in 7 parents admit that their children have pestered them to apply for payday loans when they have refused permission to buy something.

Disturbing Statistics

In the year 2008, about 3 million children were estimated to have watched payday loan adverts on TV. By 2012, this figure had made a quantum leap to 596 million. Translated into simpler language, this meant that a child in UK saw about 70 adverts on payday loans. Media regulator Ofcom further revealed that payday loan ads were more in number than any other financial product including life insurance, mortgage loans or stock investments.

Gillian Guy, CEO, Citizens Advice came down on irresponsible advertising gimmicks used by payday loan lenders. He commented that they were doing nothing but exploiting the current economic crisis by holding out temptation to financially disadvantaged households. He also mentioned that lenders were showing their adverts on popular TV music channels that teenagers and children liked to watch; they were simply working on their next generation of customers.

Citizens Advice has launched a nationwide campaign that is aimed at heightening awareness regarding irresponsible advertising. The Advertising Standards Authority of UK banned a couple of ads last year with a view to stem the growing misrepresentation of payday loans. Most of the ads tend to glorify the concept of borrowing a loan but keep the hardship of repayment under wraps.

MoneySavingExpert's Martin Lewis agrees that the UK government should issue a directive to TV channels, barring them from showing payday loan adverts to susceptible teenagers and children. He added that it was the nation's responsibility to raise children who were financially aware.

Children growing in the UK are getting increasingly influenced by the adverts and believe that payday loans are simply a means to buy something that you cannot really afford.

Adrian Bailey, MP, chairman of BIS(Business and Innovation and Skills)Health Fitness Articles, warned parents against applying for payday loans just to indulge a child's whim.

Article Tags: Payday Loan Adverts, Payday Loans, Payday Loan, Loan Adverts

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I have been involved in the payday loans industry for the last 3 years. I am a regular contributor to several finance related blogs and websites.

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