A committee of MPs has called for a ban on payday loan advertising on children's television.
The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report on payday loans noted that advertising for the product is prevalent on children’s television and exposes children to the idea that loans were "fun, easy and an appropriate way to access finance".
Anne Longfield CEO of 4Children said: "4Children welcomes the Committee of MPs’ call for a ban on payday lenders’ advertising during children's TV programmes. With the average child aged between four and 15 being exposed to 70 payday loan adverts a year, it’s clear that something urgently needs to be done to stop a practice that, as the Committee’s report points out, conditions children to accept such borrowing as normal.
"It can also increase the pressure on parents to borrow money to buy things for their children, including at Christmas, that they cannot afford. Payday loans are clearly not a solution for families who are struggling to make ends meet, as they drag too many people into a vortex of unsustainable debt. We need to ensure families are, instead, able to take up the kind of decent jobs they need, so they don’t have to resort to payday loans to meet the basic costs of living."
Figures from regulator Ofcom showed that children aged four to 15 saw three million payday loan TV adverts in 2008, but this had grown to 596 million in 2012, accounting for 0.7% of adverts seen by this age group.
This meant that the average child aged four to 15 saw 70 payday loan adverts last year. Yet only 3% of payday loan adverts seen by four to 15-year-olds were on children's channels, equivalent to two per child on these channels over the year.
Citizens Advice and Labour leader Ed Miliband have already called for a ban of these adverts on children's TV.