Advertising for payday loans could be banned from TV before 9pm, as the advertising regulator mulls over the possibility of taking another step towards shunning the much maligned industry.
Proposed by a Church of England bishop during a session in the House of Lordsí this week, the move seeks to prevent children from being exposed to the inherent risks which accompany payday loans and preventing the younger generation from seeing payday debt as an acceptable way of attaining their monetary goals.
Ministers have welcomed the suggestion and will request that the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) considers the time scheduling of payday loan commercials in its ongoing examination of the manner in which payday loans market their products.
Baroness Jolly, LibDem peer, revealed the Lordsí decision on Wednesday stating: ìTreasury ministers have asked Bcap to broaden the remit of its review to ensure that it also considers the appropriateness of its scheduling rules, as well as those around content.î
ìTreasury ministers are writing to Bcap formally to set out this requestÖthe Government is determined that children are protected from inappropriate advertising by pay-day lenders.’
ìWe are pleased to see the government recognise that this is a problem,î said Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs the National Debtline.
ìOn the debt advice frontline we have become increasingly concerned that high cost credit is in danger of becoming normalised amongst young people. Restrictions on payday loan advertising before the watershed, on the same basis as those already in place for gambling and alcohol, would be a very welcome step.î
Ofcomís research shows that children currently view an average of 1.3m payday loan ads per week, and despite this only accounting for 0.6% of TV commercials viewed by children aged under 15, the propagation of such lending is not to the taste of Westminster.
Matthew Reed, of the Children’s Society, applauded the crackdown on payday loan advertising, stating: ‘Today’s decision by Government to ask the advertising watchdog to review the rules on when payday loan adverts can be broadcast on TV and radio is a positive step.
‘We welcome ministers’ recognition that the impact of such advertising on children is a major cause for concern.
‘We will be passing our evidence to the watchdog and will be pushing for an early decision to ban these ads before the 9pm watershed.’
The announcement from the House of Lords follows a period to forget for payday lenders, which has already seen 25
different ads barred from being shown since April 2013. The industry has been cracked down on to such an extent that only 3 candidates are equipped to combat the new regulations which have been imposed.
Ed Miliband, labour leader, said last year: He said: ‘As a father of two young boys, I know how influenced they can be by what they see.
‘And I don’t want payday lenders taking advantage of the cost of living crisis and targeting children in this country.
‘It is wrong, it is not what should be happening and that is why a Labour government would stop them advertising during children’s TV. It’s bad for young people, it’s bad for families and it’s bad for communities.í