Miliband calls for payday loan TV ads to children to be banned


Ed Miliband: ''I don't want payday lenders...targeting children in this country''

Adverts for payday loans should be banned during children's TV programmes, Labour leader Ed Miliband has said.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday newspaper, Mr Miliband criticised payday lenders who "target" children through advertising.

He said a Labour government would urge the advertising watchdog to introduce a ban. If that did not work, Labour would use legislation, Mr Miliband said.

His comments come in a week which saw payday lenders quizzed by MPs.

Mr Miliband told the BBC payday lenders were spending hundreds of thousands of pounds advertising during children's TV programmes.

'Bad for families'

"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," he said.

Start Quote

The idea that payday lenders are putting pressure on our kids to pester their parents is just wrong”

End Quote Ed Miliband Labour leader

"I think it's wrong, it's not what should be happening and that's why a Labour government would stop them advertising during children's TV, because it's bad for young people, it's bad for families and it's bad for communities."

Mr Miliband said it was "just wrong" that payday lenders were "putting pressure on our kids to pester their parents".

He compared advertising by payday lenders to that of junk food and gambling, which are both banned during TV programmes aimed at children.

He added: "That's why we'll be asking the Advertising Standards Authority to act on irresponsible advertising that's targeting young children by payday lenders and if they don't sort it out, we will through legislation."

'Pain and misery'

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

She said two "misleading" payday loan adverts had been banned in the last six months.

"New rules will also force payday loan adverts to include risk warnings and information about where the public can access free and confidential debt advice," she added.

Mr Miliband's stance was supported by the creator of the website, Martin Lewis.

Mr Lewis said a survey of parents conducted by suggested that 30% of children under 10 are repeating advertising slogans from payday loans companies.

Martin Lewis Financial journalist Martin Lewis said payday loans caused people "pain and misery"

"We've been calling for a ban on payday loans on children's TV," he said.

"The risk is they effectively groom a new generation of children, normalising, legitimising and mainstreaming this dangerous type of niche borrowing."

He added: "Marketing is at the core of these loans, which cause many people pain and misery.

"They're slick, fast, efficient technological plays, the crack cocaine of lending 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 far more effective controls."

In a speech earlier this week, Mr Miliband criticised what he called Britain's "Wonga economy", saying that the rise of payday lenders symbolised the squeeze on living standards facing millions of families.

That came on the same day that representatives from the payday lending firms Wonga, QuickQuid and Mr Lender were questioned MPs on the Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

The companies defended their business practices, saying they aim to lend to people who can pay them back.

Wonga's chief operating officer Niall Wass told BBC's Newsnight its business practices have been misrepresented and the vast majority of its customers are happy.


More on This Story


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 614.

    Let's all sit here and vent our spleens about how outrageous this all is, safe in the comfort of our own homes. Our grandparents would have taken to the streets over something like this, but the most we can be bothered to do is post an acerbic comment on 'Have Your Say'. Pathetic, all of us. We LET them do it to us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 613.

    599. David Wilson
    It is obvious that the Tory approach is the ONLY way the poor will get a chance.
    Would that be by building more food banks, introducing more zero hours contracts, destroying workers rights and withdrawing benefits from many vulnerable people?

    Do you reckon the many millionaires in the cabinet understand (or care about) the plight of the poor?

  • rate this

    Comment number 612.

    As with sex and violence in tv shows, there should be a waterdhed 9.00pm curfew on adverts for this particular "service".

  • rate this

    Comment number 611.

    599.David Wilson
    It is obvious that the Tory approach is the ONLY way the poor will get a chance.
    Is that your justification for payday loan adverts for children, then? (get 'em early before common sense and critical faculties develop?)

    It's a pretty sweeping generalisation in any event, so would you enlighten us please by explaining in 400 characters why it's so obvious to you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 610.

    584. Wideboy
    “Wonga is how the labour fund their fiscal policy's, spend now. Worry later”.

    So why are the present Gov’ following in their footsteps & encouraging more debt?
    EG: the current Gov't are interested in Old People Loans, where a person takes out a loan to cover their age care, payable on death – with interest of course.
    I wonder if the Wonga puppets will be interested?


Comments 5 of 614


More Politics stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.