Lender accused of encouraging frivolous spending

7 May 2008

A personal loans company has been forced to withdraw an advertising campaign after it was accused of encouraging frivolous spending on credit.

Everydayloans, a specialist lender with branches across the UK, was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for a leaflet campaign featuring an exhausted woman surrounded by shopping bags. The leaflet stated: "Take the strain out of your finances. Let everydayloans lighten the load. Michelle could relax with her everydayloan sorted."

Following a consumer complaint, the advertising watchdog has now banned the campaign for potentially encouraging people to spend irresponsibly using borrowed money.

Everydayloans defended the leaflet, arguing that the headline referred to people who had overspent during the Christmas period and that text on the leaflet suggested people could use a loan to consolidate their debts. It denied encouraging irresponsible spending.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint against the advert. It a statement, it said: "We noted everydayloans' view that the leaflet made sufficiently clear that its aim was to help people to manage their finances rather than encouraging them to take out a loan…

"[However] we considered that readers were likely to infer that the woman depicted in the leaflet had just been on an enjoyable shopping trip funded by taking out a loan.

"We considered that the reference to personal loans to fund shopping trips or holidays was likely to be seen to encourage frivolous spending on credit."

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