Payday lender banned from sending 'irresponsible' spam texts


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The Independent Online

A payday lender which sent “irresponsible” spam text messages which encouraged people to borrow money for a “night on the town” has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The nuisance texts – which generated 13 complaints - said “Hi Mate I'm still out in town, just got £1000 in my account from these guys”.

The website – which quotes a typical APR of 2,120 per cent APR – is run by First Financial which told the ASA it set up pay-day loan websites which were then passed on to advertisers. Advertising firm Akklaim Telecoms was actually responsible for sending the irresponsible text.

The ASA held both firms jointly responsible for the unsolicited texts and ruled that the ads should not appear again.

“Because the text messages implied that it was suitable to use a payday loan for the purpose of 'socialising', we concluded that the ads were irresponsible,” the ASA ruling said.

“We told First Financial and Akklaim Telecoms to ensure ads did not imply that payday loans were suitable for spending on a social life,” the ASA added.

It also told the firms to ensure text message ads were clearly identifiable as marketing communications and were only sent to those who had given explicit consent to receive them.