25 Mar 2014

Children should be protected from payday loan advertising in the same way as junk food adverts, The Children’s Society warns. 

Responding to the Government’s rejection of MPs’ proposals for a ban on payday loan adverts during children’s television, The Children’s Society is calling on Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to clamp down on the commercials.

Nearly 10,000 people have already signed a Children’s Society petition calling on Ofcom to ban short-term, high interest lenders from advertising on children’s channels and programmes with a large young audience. 

Lily Caprani, Director of Strategy and Policy at The Children’s Society, said:

'It is no coincidence that payday lenders have become a regular feature on our televisions over the last few years, at a time when millions of families have been struggling to make ends meet. Children are bombarded with adverts showing high-cost, unsecured debt as fun and easy.

Dept traps families

'We see every day from our work that debt traps families in poverty and has a devastating impact on children. But this kind of advertising on children’s television will make payday lending seem normal.

'While parents are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living, the adverts tell children that it is easy to get quick cash. This will lead to children pestering their parents for more.

'We’re disappointed the government hasn’t taken a stronger stance, but we’re hopeful that Ofcom and the FCA will take action are regulate these adverts for the sake of families.'

Ofcom’s own research has shown that there were 17,000 payday loan television adverts in 2008. But this increased dramatically to 397,000 by 2012.

The Children’s Society’s petition is available to sign on Change.org.

Media enquiries

For more information or interviews, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4423 or email. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.
  • The Children’s Society offer debt advice and support to families in financial difficulty though it’s children’s centres. Some of these families rely on high-cost credit to cover the basics, and are then faced with huge interest repayments that reduce the money left over for essentials like heating or food.