ASA bans ad from payday loans company

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an advertisement from short-term loan company, mobyloan.com, for being misleading.

An ad viewed on November 3 2011, stated: “I can’t believe how quick and simple the whole process was … – Susan B. (Nurse, Sheffield)”.

Beneath this, text stated: “Application process coming soon. In the meantime, if you would like to enquire about a loan please email [email address].”

The complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because he did not believe that the testimonial was genuine, because the website did not appear to have an application process.

Financial Text Ltd t/a MobyLoan did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.

The ASA was concerned by MobyLoan’s lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 1.7 (Unreasonable delay).

It reminded it of its responsibility to provide a substantive response to its enquiries and told it to do so in future.

The ASA noted that it had not seen any documentary evidence demonstrating that the testimonial was genuine. It also noted that there was no online application process on the website and that consumers had to directly contact the advertisers to enquire about a loan, by e-mail or by post.

Because it had not seen any evidence to show that the testimonial featured on the website was genuine, it concluded that the claim “I can’t believe how quick and simple the whole process was … – Susan B. (Nurse, Sheffield)” was misleading.

The claims breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.7 (Unreasonable delay), 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.45 and 3.46 (Endorsements and Testimonials).