Miliband targets payday loan companies that run cartoon-style ads during kids’ programs

Miliband targets payday loan companies that run cartoon-style ads during kids’ programs

  • Labor leader said he would ban cutesy ads if he won the next election
  • He said children shouldn’t learn that loans offer “money without consequences”
  • Comes after consumer groups attacked the ads, which use characters like Payday Pig and CashCowNow

Claims: Ed Miliband called for a ban on payday loan companies targeting children

Ed Miliband wants to ban payday loan companies from running cartoon-type ads during children’s television programs.

The Labor leader has threatened to ban ads during broadcasts if negotiations with the ad watchdog fail.

He also wants companies to stop plugging their expensive loans with cartoon characters like Payday Pig, Beeloans, and CashCowNow.

Mr Miliband said young viewers were being used as a tool by the payday lending industry and added: “Kids shouldn’t feel like payday loans are easy money without consequences.”

His comments came after consumer champion Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert warned that payday lenders were “grooming” young people by exposing them to advertisements on short-term loans.

Mr Miliband said he was concerned when “payday lenders target our children and youth.”

“How else to explain the hundreds of thousands of pounds spent by payday lenders on commercials during children’s television programs. And why else do they use cartoon characters, trendy puppets, or cute plasticine figures in some of their commercials? ” he said.

Advertising rubs off on young people: A survey found that one in seven parents were told by their children to take out a payday loan when they refused to buy them something.

Mr Miliband called for payday loan companies to be treated the same as junk food or gambling businesses – which are banned by the Advertising Standards Authority from running ads during children’s programs.

The next Labor government will ask the watchdog to ban irresponsible advertising of loans – which charge rates of up to 6,000% a year – that target young people.

“If it can’t be done through the advertising watchdog, we will do it through legislation,” he said.

Mr Miliband also slammed payday lender Wonga for launching a glossy film last week that described the company as “a cross between an essential utility and a fairy godmother.”

Seven in ten people who took the supposedly short-term loans regretted it, Miliband said.

Labor has said it will cap the total cost of credit on payday loans – going further than the coalition government which has ruled out a limit on the interest rates charged.

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Appeal to Children: This character is used to advertise Payday Pig loans

Appeal to Children: This character is used to advertise Payday Pig loans

CashCow Now

Targeting children: Ed Miliband argued that cartoon characters such as CashCowNow, left, and the monkey mascot for, were targeting parents through their children

Not for kids: Wonga has long used non-threatening puppet characters to advertise his loans

Not for kids: Wonga has long used non-threatening puppet characters to advertise his loans

Local communities would also have more power to stop the growth of payday lenders and betting shops on the main street.

Mr. Lewis welcomed this decision. “We called for a ban on payday loans on children’s television. The risk is that they are effectively preparing a new generation of children, normalizing, legitimizing and generalizing this dangerous type of niche borrowing, ”he told The Sun on Sunday.

“Marketing is at the heart of these loans, which cause pain and misery for many people.

“It’s clever, fast and efficient tech games, loan cracks that have created a market that didn’t really exist five years ago – and sadly our lack of regulation means they thrive here while other countries have much more effective controls. ‘

A parent survey conducted by found that 30 percent of children under the age of 10 repeat the advertising slogans of payday loan ads.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Skills said the government is already cracking down on irresponsible payday lenders to protect consumers.

She said, “Two deceptive payday loan advertisements have been banned in the past six months in connection with our work with the Advertising Standards Authority.

“The new rules will also require payday loan announcements to include risk warnings and information on where the public can access free, confidential debt advice.

“New powers have been introduced to ban products, impose unlimited fines and order companies to reimburse consumers.

“These new restrictions build on actions taken by the Office of Fair Trading which has seen 25 payday lenders exit the market since March.”

The Consumer Finance Association, which represents the convenience industry, denied that children were being targeted.

Its chief executive, Russell Hamblin-Boome, said: “Martin Lewis’s suggestion that responsible and legal companies advertise to children is absurd. CFA members do not target any specific group of people – certainly not children. ‘

The industry is under investigation by the Competition Commission.

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