ASA pulls the plug on loan company's harassed housewife

A loan company broke advertising rules because it suggested borrowing large sums of money was an "everyday occurrence", the industry watchdog has said.

The TV advert for Picture Loans showed a mother walking around the house while arranging a loan. In the ad, she chats with the loan adviser as she helps her family locate missing items such as a scooter, football and running shoes. At one point, she tells the adviser: "Don't worry, it's always like this here. But at least I can get my credit sorted. We'd like to borrow £25,000."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received six complaints from members of the public about the advert, which they felt presented a loan application as something to be taken lightly.

The ASA agreed and in its ruling said: "The light-hearted tone of the ad suggested that the decision to take out the loan had not been carefully considered and that it was an everyday occurrence."

Picture has now been barred from rebroadcasting the advert.

However, the ASA added that the advert did include several warnings as to the seriousness of taking out a large loan, as well as information on the interest rate charged.

Picture said it had not intended to suggest personal loans should be treated lightly.