Former bankrupt Kerry Katona returns in new payday loan TV commercial four days after original was banned

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Former bankrupt Kerry Katona returns in new payday loan TV commercial four days after original was banned

  • Former Atomic Kitten star appeared in commercial for payday lender Cash Lady
  • ASA ordered company to remove ad mentioning Katona’s money problems
  • But a few days later, a similar ad returned to television despite the ban.
  • New ad uses identical color schemes and keeps Katona as the star
  • Activists target “glossy ads and slick celebrity backers”

The company behind a banned payday lender ad featuring struggling star Kerry Katona has relaunched its campaign featuring the bankrupt former singer again.

The promotion of Cash Lady was banned by the Advertising Standards Agency because it seemed to suggest that it was possible to afford the lifestyle of a popstar using the services of the lender.

But after a gap of just four days, Ms. Katona appears on TV again in a similar but slightly different version of the Cash Lady commercial, using the same color scheme and graphic designs.

Campaigners slammed payday lenders for using “glossy ads and stylish celebrity mentions” to showcase their loans, which tend to carry very high interest rates.

Commercials: Kerry Katona is a spokesperson for payday loan company Cash Lady and appears in their TV commercials

Spot the difference: A Cash Lady commercial, left, starring Kerry Katona has been banned; but the singer is still featured in the ad for the payday lender, right

Controversy: The star appears on their website, in the photo, even though one of her ads has been banned

Controversy: The star appears on their website, in the photo, even though one of her ads has been banned

Ms Katona, 32, who first rose to fame as a member of the recently reunited Atomic Kitten, encountered well-documented personal and financial problems and was declared bankrupt in 2008.

The Cash Lady TV commercials played on the star’s notoriety and staged it by saying, “We’ve all had money issues at some point, I know I have.

“You could see your bank and fill out a lot of forms, but is there an easier way to get a loan? “

The company, which is registered as PDB UK Ltd, offers loans of up to £ 300 per month with an annual percentage rate of 2,760%.

He tends to charge £ 29 interest per month for every £ 100 borrowed.

Glitzy: The company was blamed for making payday loans glamorous using the image of the star

Glitzy: The company was blamed for making payday loans glamorous using the image of the star

Payday loans are designed to provide short-term assistance to people who need money in an emergency and should not be used as a current source of income due to their high interest rates.

After 29 people complained about the ad, the ASA deemed it “irresponsible” and potentially misleading.

The agency said the announcement made “no reference to the fact that these loans were intended for short-term interruptions between paydays and were not intended as a more immediate solution to more serious financial problems.” .

According to the ASA, this “also had the potential to encourage vulnerable viewers with financial problems and / or limited credit to seek to resolve them through the payday loan service.”

The agency also criticized Cash Lady for not posting the very high APR enough and for using Ms Katona’s personal story to attract financially troubled clients.

Reunion: Ms Katona with her Atomic Kitten group mates Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon earlier this month

Reunion: Ms Katona with her Atomic Kitten group mates Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon earlier this month

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said advertising like the one produced by Cash Lady was misleading and potentially exploitative.

“Brilliant advertisements and clever celebrity mentions obscure the harsh reality of life in debt,” she said. “Behind the glamorous marketing lie exorbitant interest rates and fees and the misery of multiple revolving loans.

Payday loan companies need to do a lot more to make sure they treat their customers fairly. New evidence from Citizens Advice has found that 65% of lenders do not check whether borrowers can afford to repay the loan and many do not offer to freeze interest or fees if people are having trouble repaying.

“It’s time for expensive lenders to take responsibility and tell their customers the truth. “

The new ad is completely legal as it has been changed slightly to make it different from the banned version. It could, however, be banned in the future if viewers complain to the ASA and the complaints are confirmed.

Troubled: The singer was caught on camera talking incoherently and stammering this morning in 2008

Troubled: The singer was caught on camera talking incoherently and stammering this morning in 2008

The company today defended its use of Ms Katona and insisted that she had complied with the ASA’s instructions.

“The version of the ad that’s currently airing does not refer to Kerry’s financial history or compare payday loan applications to large bank loans, which were the issues the ASA criticized,” said a spokesperson.

“The ASA had no problem with Kerry being part of the campaign – that was what it said in that specific announcement. We look forward to continuing to work with Kerry and plan to shoot a full movie soon. new advertisement.

“We strive to be as compliant as possible and to be a responsible party to the payday lending industry. “

The case is similar to a number of controversies involving low-cost airline Ryanair, which has repeatedly seen its ads banned only to release equally controversial advertising material days later.

“It is not our role to ban entire industries, including payday loans, from advertising or to ban the use of celebrities in advertisements,” the agency told the Independent.

Ms Katona joined Atomic Kitten, whose hits included Whole Again and Eternal Flame, at just 18, but quit the group after becoming pregnant with Westlife star Brian McFadden.

The mother of four appeared in I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! among a number of reality TV shows, and is also known for her work in commercials for Iceland.

In 2008, she was declared bankrupt after failing to pay her taxes properly, and the following year was abandoned by some of her employers when photos were published showing her taking cocaine.

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