Amigo loans defends TV ad complaints

Sam Cordon

September 5, 2013

A voice over on the advert said: “Back in the good old days, if you needed a loan, the bank manager would often ask someone who knew you to guarantee it. Simple.”

Accompanying on-screen text stated: “Borrow up to £5000 over one to five years. You must be over 18, not bankrupt and able to afford repayments. Guarantor required. Subject to status. Representative 49.9% APR (Variable).”

The voice over stated that Amigo Loans does not require a credit score as a guarantor must be in place in order to have a loan approved.

This prompted six viewers to challenge whether the ad misleadingly implied no credit checks were carried out because they understood the guarantor’s credit file would be checked.

And three viewers also challenged whether the ad was misleading because it failed to make clear the potential financial implications of being a guarantor.

However Amigo loans said the advert was addressed to the borrower and did not detail the criteria for acceptance of a guarantor.

It said the ad was intended to communicate that lending decisions were based on the borrower’s and guarantor’s ability to repay rather than a computer generated credit score.

And the on-screen text made clear that applicants must not be bankrupt and that the loan was subject to status.

Amigo pointed out that on-screen text stated “guarantor required”. It believed consumers would understand that referred to an agreement in which one party assumed liability for another if they failed to fulfil their obligations.

And it said that the ad stated “someone who trusts you to guarantee your loan repayments” and believed that made clear the implications of being a guarantor.

The ASA considered the ad was addressed to potential applicants and depicted the ability of applicants to obtain a loan.

The requirement of a guarantor was echoed in on-screen text which also made clear the loan was “subject to status”.

In a statement the ASA said: “We considered the overall impression of the ad was that the applicants did not require a credit check, but a suitable guarantor. We therefore concluded the ad was not likely to mislead on this point of complaint.”

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