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Picture Loans, a secured UK lender, has been pulled up by the advertising agency over one of its TV ads, after being accused of making taking out finance sound light hearted.

The TV commercial showed a woman wondering around the house on the phone going about her business and being interrupted by various members of the family. Whilst on the phone to the loan company she states that it is always like that around the home, but at least she can get her credit sorted.

A number of consumers complained to the advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Agency. The company was accused of making borrowing large sums of money sound light hearted and the regulator has now banned Picture from running the advertisement again in its current form. Officials from the ASA state that taking out a large loan, such as the £25000 that the woman in the advertisement wants to take, need to be given careful consideration, and this is not reflected in the advertisement.

Whilst being interrupted by family members when trying to arrange her loan the woman in the advertise light heartedly tells the loan adviser: 'Don't worry it's always like this here. But at least I can get my credit sorted. We'd like to borrow £25,000.'

An official from the ASA stated: 'We considered that the light-hearted tone of the ad, including the interruptions from family members, suggested that the decision to take out the loan had not been carefully considered and that it was an everyday occurrence.'

Another complaint has been made against MBNA regarding a mailing sent to Alliance and Leicester customers, which read: 'Simply by spending £300 or more on your credit card every month for the next two months, you'll receive a return flight for two to Europe.'

However, no mention was made about the consumer having to pay for their own accommodation. This complaint has also been upheld.

Tom Smith
17th October 2007

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