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British short term lenders' marketing efforts criticized

Nov 21, 2013 Simon Williams

Nearly every business needs to advertise its goods and services, or else how would consumers know about what's on offer? This can be done in any number of ways, from recording television commercials to drawing up billboards to display along popular roads.

This is no less true for short term lenders. Executives have to let consumers know that there are alternative financial options available to them when they don't want to wait around for weeks to potentially be approved for a traditional loan by a high street bank or other company, or they're trying to avoid penalties that come with missing bill payments and overdrafting.

At least in the United Kingdom, you would think that citizens everywhere would be aware of these options, as they were so popular during the global recession and allowed individuals to stay afloat. However, as new generations break into adulthood and need to contend with bills and borrow money, they must be made aware of the possibilities out there as well.

But parties that are unnecessarily critical of the short term lending industry are targeting companies by nit-picking the methods they use to advertise to the population.

Are lenders targeting children?
According to The Independent, consumer group Money Saving Expert recently released a report that accuses short term lenders of targeting consumers by appealing to their children, who will then ask their parents to take out loans for the upcoming holiday season. The news source said that the organization believes this is the case because the adverts shown on television include "catchy tunes and cute puppets."

This led Money Saving Expert Founder Martin Lewis to tell members of Parliament that they should take action to ban such commercials from airing.

However, an important thing to note is that these are legitimate commercials. Companies often need to use out-of-the-box tactics to attract adult consumers. Otherwise, their efforts are going to get lost in the plethora of other TV spots every other business produces. That being said, certain elements might attract their focus, but the content and quality service that these companies provide is sure to keep consumers' coming back.

Critics take aim at ads for another age group
Those who attack the short term lending industry don't just accuse businesses of promoting to children, but also the elderly. Mortgage Strategy pointed out that some lawmakers and consumer groups are critical of lenders that allow those over the age of 60 to borrow. That said, an internal survey revealed that 68 percent of British consumers think that banks and other organizations are too strict when seniors want to take out a loan.