ASA bans Yes Loans UK ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a text message advertisement sent by Yes Loans UK Ltd, based in Cwmbran.

The SMS ad, for loans, stated “Hi XXX we have received your loan enquiry please call Yes Loans on XXX or reply yes for a callback txtSTOP2optout”

The ASA received two complaints which both said they had not enquired about a loan, they challenged whether the ad was likely to mislead, because it was not clear it was a marketing communication.

They also questioned whether it complied with the CAP Code, because it was sent without the explicit consent of the recipients.

Yes Loans UK Ltd said it sent SMS messages in response to enquiries where consumers had expressed an interest in acquiring a loan. It said the message was worded to reflect the fact it was not an unsolicited communication and was sent only when they received an enquiry via their website or an affiliate provider.

It said the first complainant had received the message as the result of an error; data had been sourced from an old file and it had reviewed the database it currently used for processing SMS messages and found no record of that having happened in other instances.  

Yes Loans said the second complainant had submitted an application for a loan in 2007.

But the ASA said it was concerned that it was sent to the first complainant without her explicit consent.  

It also noted the second complainant had consented to being contacted by Yes Loans, however, he had done so more than two years before they contacted him.  

It also noted that by agreeing to the terms and conditions, the complainant had not provided explicit consent to receive marketing material by SMS.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

It told Yes Loans to ensure marketing communications were designed and presented in such a way that it was clear they were marketing communications.  It also told it to ensure its databases were accurate and up-to-date and it had the explicit consent of consumers before sending marketing communications to mobile devices.