The number of payday loan adverts on television has rocketed 2,235 per cent over the past four years, according to a new study from media regulator Ofcom.
The research found there were 17,000 adverts for payday loans in 2008 but this leapt to 243,000 in 2011 and a whopping 397,000 last year.
Ofcom also analysed viewers’ exposure to payday loan advertising on TV.
It found there were 12 million “impacts” among adults in 2008, representing the total number of times an advert is seen by viewers.
This reached 4.2 billion by 2011 and 7.5 billion by 2012, when payday loan adverts accounted for 0.8 per cent of all TV advertising seen by adult viewers. Each adult saw an average of 152 payday loan adverts on TV last year.
Children aged 4-15 saw 3 million payday loan adverts in 2008, which had grown to 466 million by 2011 and 596 million by 2012. This meant the average child aged 4.15 saw 70 payday loan adverts last year.
Chadney Bulgin mortgage partner Jonathan Clark says: “I’m concerned about the amount of advertising we’re seeing and where those ads may be being aired. If kids are being exposed to these firms from a young age that carries the risk of normalising the whole thing and you get a swathe of kids growing up thinking words like Wonga.com are just a by-word for getting by. It is concerning.”
Earlier this month Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the FCA would have new powers to cap interest rates as well as curbing advertising and debt collection techniques when it takes over responsibility for regulating the sector in April.
A Mortgage Strategy straw poll featured on BBC Two’s Newsnight earlier this month showing 64 per cent of nearly 300 brokers polled have had a borrower turned down for a mortgage because they have had a payday loan.