Short-term loan ad banned

Ryan Bembridge

November 21, 2018

The Advertising Standards Agency has banned a television advert from short-term lender Lending Stream due to the ambiguous way it referred to the RAPR.

The Representative APR of 1,325% was presented as “Representative one three two five per cent APR”, which was deemed unclear.

The ASA said: “Given the interest rate was so large that it extended to four digits, we considered that it could be unclear to viewers whether there was a decimal point between two of the digits, or that viewers could easily miss the first or last digits being said…

“All of which could result in them believing the RAPR was significantly lower than the actual RAPR of 1,325%.

“Even for those who heard each digit, the effect of saying the digits individually meant that the word “thousand” did not have to be said.

“We considered that carried a significant risk of viewers underestimating the amount of the RAPR.”

It was ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

The Advertising Standards Agency also told Lending Stream to ensure in future that its ads did not mislead by presenting the RAPR in an ambiguous way.

Clearcast, the agency behind the TV ad, had argued that stating numbers of three digits or more was acceptable and well-established.

The ad also displayed the 1,325% APR in legal text at the bottom of the screen, while the ASA had previously ruled in favour of a company presenting numbers as individual digits.

On that occasion however the ASA said it was at a reasonable pace and clearly enunciated, while Lending Stream’s ad saw the tone of the voice-over shift to become comparatively subdued and quick.

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