Simon Read: Watch out for Sharkstoppers' campaigns – and join in

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In a week that the country's most profitable payday lender, Wonga, has had a TV advert banned, it's pleasing that campaign group Sharkstoppers hasn't given up its fight for fair credit.

The national campaign run by Movement for Change has done some great work and is now targeting political parties to do more to prevent vulnerable people falling into debt.

To be honest I think it's probably the most important issue I write about, and I believe there's a moral responsibility on us all to help those who fall into financial difficulties.

So I will continue to support work that tackles these issues. Next on the agenda for Sharkstoppers is to curb what it says is irresponsible payday loan advertising, such as Wonga's puppet-led TV commercial, slammed as being "misleading" by the Advertising Standards Authority on Wednesday.

Serai Hann, a young mum who helped the organisation to spread fair credit in Swansea, and who is part of the Sharkstoppers national strategy team, said: "I don't want my kids to be targeted by the payday loan ads that appear on television during children's programmes.

"I don't think that they should be subjected to the distress that I was, just because I fell into the trap of thinking that I had no other option than to take out a payday loan. That's why we've said we need to tackle payday loan advertising and marketing as part of our continued campaign."

Carl Packman, author of Loan Sharks: The Rise and Rise of Payday Lending is also heavily involved in the campaign.

He said: "We welcomed the cap on the cost of credit, but know that this is just the beginning of our campaign – and we will hold the Government to account on its promise. But, importantly, we need to make sure this is a fair cap."

Sharkstoppers campaigners will be holding actions across the country in the coming months and will be calling on a range of targets – from political parties, to the Government and government regulators – to commit to concrete change in the credit market.

Do look out for local events and get involved. Who knows, it could end up helping you – or a member of your family – to avoid falling into a debt spiral.

s.read@independent.co.uk

Twitter: @simonnread

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