A man dressed in Austrian costume, with lederhosen and a feathered cap, playing an accordion and singing is not an appropriate way to flog expensive loans.
That’s the ruling of the Advertising Standards Authority which on Wednesday banned two TV ads for logbook loan outfit Loans2Go for trivialising the risk of borrowing cash.
Logbook loans have been much criticised in recent years for being expensive and opening people to the risk of losing their car or motorbike.
The Money Advice Service website warns: “Logbook loans are expensive and risky and should be avoided where possible.”
Interest charged is normally around 400 per cent APR or higher and missing a repayment gives the loan company the right to repossess the vehicle without a court order. That includes having the power to enter people’s premises in order to recover the vehicle.
But they remain legal and there are plenty of companies tempting people into putting up their vehicle as collateral for expensive credit.
The offending ads featured a man dressed as an Austrian singing - to the tune of 'For he's a jolly good fellow': "For cash today, use loans2go, for cash today, use loans2go, for cash today, use loans2go, you still get to keep your car."
During the ads, the man was joined by three women, also dressed in Austrian costume, who danced around a car and clashed cymbals.
The message was simple, but it was misleading, the ASA said. “We considered that the overall atmosphere of both ads was jolly, light-hearted and humorous, in contrast to the serious nature of the business of taking out a loan.
“We felt the ads trivialised and presented a casual attitude to taking out a loan and breached the Advertising Code.”
The ads were also criticised for not displaying the cost of credit prominently enough. The lender’s representative APR is 356.3 per cent.