Watchdog raps TV ad for trivialising debt

A television ad that makes light of borrowing large amounts of money has been rapped by advertising regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ruling comes as the Government is expected to push the issue of household debts to the top of its agenda.

The ad, for Picture Financial Services, shows a woman arranging a loan over the phone while getting interrupted by her children and husband.

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) said although the ad illustrated the ease with which borrowing requirements could be discussed over the phone during a busy day, it did not suggest that borrowing large sums of money was to be taken lightly.

But the ASA disagreed. It ruled that the light-hearted tone of the ad suggested the decision to take out the loan had not been carefully considered and that it was an everyday occurrence. The ad was therefore likely to mislead.

  • Meanwhile, the ASA has not upheld complaints about a TV ad for Coty-owned aftershave Davidoff Cool Water. Four viewers complained the ad condones the dangerous practice of diving from cliffs into water. The BACC and the ASA denied this and cleared the ad.

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