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.

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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